Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Psykter with lid and two swinging handles, late 6th century b.c.
    Greek
    Bronze; H. 10 15/16 in. (27.8 cm)
    Rogers Fund, 1960 (60.11.3a,b)

    This bronze psykter, like its terracotta counterpart, was designed to keep wine cool throughout an evening at a symposium. Holding nearly one quart and twenty-nine ounces of wine, the vessel would be filled and then placed into a large krater containing snow or ice water. The curve of the psykter's body afforded the maximum cooling surface, while its cylindrical stem acted as a keel, keeping the vessel upright while the wine was ladled out.

    Metal vases are not nearly so well known as those of terracotta, as they have not survived, having been melted down in antiquity or looted later on. The body of this particular psykter is raised from a single disk of sheet bronze. The rim is cast and soldered on to the top; whereas, the lid is made from two separate pieces. The handles are hammered out of heavy rectangular bronze wire. Their attachments are decorated with palmettes and volutes.

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  • Psykter with lid and two swinging handles, late 6th century B.C.
    Greek
    Bronze; H. 10 15/16 in. (27.8 cm)
    Rogers Fund, 1960 (60.11.3a,b)

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