• latw-162-1
    Silver oinochoe with kouros handle. (Courtesy of the Vedat Nedim Tör Museum, Istanbul)
  • latw-162-2
    Silver oinochoe with kouros handle. Detail of kouros handle. (Courtesy of the Vedat Nedim Tör Museum, Istanbul)

Silver oinochoe with kouros handle

Late 6th or early 5th c BC, Late Lydian (Persian)
Uşak, Archaeological Museum, 1.80.96
Museum Inventory No.
Sardis or Museum Inv. No.
Uşak 1.80.96
Object Type
Metalwork Type
Metal Vessel
Toptepe Tumulus
“The oinochoe has a trefoil mouth, a cylindrical neck, and an ovoid body narrowing towards a flared foot. Around the rim is a chased kymation. The shoulder is decorated with engraved tongues, a pinprick within the curve of each. Around the foot is a ring of tongues, with a row of beading encircling the edge of the foot and the junction of body and foot. The handle is in the form of a kouros, his naked body inclined backwards, with knees flexed and arms raised. The almond-shaped eyes have incised pupils and raised upper and lower lids; the ridges of the eyebrows curve down into a large nose above well-formed lips and prominent chin; ears are also carefully shaped. His long waving hair hangs into the mouth of the vessel, concealing the join between jug and handle, and two locks hang over his shoulder at each side. The lines of the body are very realistically executed, with attention to pectorals, bottom of rib cage, navel, and genitals; fingers and toes are shown individually. His feet rest on a separately cast attachment plate at the shoulder of the jug, which is in the form of a palmette motif suspended beneath two volutes, and two rams, one on either side of the youth’s feet. The rams are seated back to back, heads facing outwards, with hind legs and one foreleg curled beneath the body, while the other foreleg is raised at the knee. Their spiral horns are ridged, and their fleece is curly. The youth’s arms are bent at the elbows and raised, with hands grasping the tails of two lions, which lie back to back along the rim of the jug, forelegs outstretched, complementing the rams of the lower attachment plate. The wrinkled muzzle, mane, long coat at the sides of the body and above the tail are carefully detailed, as is the musculature of the limbs and the large paws. The body of the vessel is raised by hammering, the foot, handle and attachments are cast separately and attached by solder.”

”Handles with the same composition of youth, two lions and two rams are not uncommon in Greek bronze hydriai and oinochoai, but this is the only known example in silver. A bronze oinochoe from Karakuyu (near Torbalı, towards the west end of the Hermus valley), with a chased kymation around the rim and handle terminating in a sphinx or siren at the top, and sleeping Eros at the bottom, has been dated to the early-fifth century (Ephesus Museum 2610).” (Özgen and Öztürk 1996). Height to top of rim 0.163 m, diameter 0.095 m, weight 624.1 g.

From the Toptepe Tumulus.
See Also
Baughan, “Burial Customs”; Özgen, “Lydian Treasure”.
Özgen and Öztürk 1996, no. 106 (with previous bibliography).