About this Cluster
Introduction by J.R. Green
The collection has some useful examples of Attic black-glaze, the more day-to-day ware of the Athenians. The commonest shapes are minor drinking vessels such as skyphoi or mugs, and oil vessels like the squat lekythos, the askos or the guttus (for table oil). Compare the Sicilian black and plain ware discussed elsewhere in this catalogue.
An excellent introduction to this sort of material is the booklet by B.A. Sparkes and L. Talcott, Pots and Pans of Classical Athens (Excavations of the Athenian Agora, Picture Book no. 1, Princeton 1958). The same authors’ volume The Athenian Agora xii: Black and Plain Pottery (Princeton 1970) is a definitive study with full discussions of the various shapes and their functions. See also the article by B.A. Sparkes, “Illustrating Aristophanes”, Journal of Hellenic Studies 95, 1975, 122-135, which is concerned with the objects, including pottery, mentioned by the comic poet.