Agora Object: Agora XXIX, no. 1682
Dimensions:   H. 2.8; Diam. 13.4.
Chronology:   Context of 115-50
Deposit:   E 14:3
Published Number:   AV 29.1682
References:   Object: P 5648
Small Plate.

Part of rim missing.

Very small, flaring ring foot; rounded resting surface; flat underside. Foot pierced for hanging in such a way that griffin is upright. Shallow plate with convex-concave profile. Rim reserved on top, with deep groove. On floor, griffin leaping left in pseudo red-figured technique, white dot rosettes in field. Hard, fine, yellowish red fabric (5YR 5/6); shiny black glaze, with finger marks on lower exterior; miltos? Although small plates with grooved rims were made in Athens (e.g. 816--818, 820), they are not very similar to this piece, which has a more pronounced groove, a smaller foot, and a convex-concave profile. Plates of similar shape occur in Italy, but most are larger (Morel 1981, Series 1281 and 1646). The closest parallel among those illustrated by Morel is ibid., no. 1646f 1, p. 130, pl. 27 = Pancrazzi 1971, SF1/61, p. 145, fig. 82, from Sovana.

The figure on 1682 is painted in silhouette, then interior details are added by scraping away the paint with a pointed tool so that the black glaze shows through as a dark line. This so-called pseudo red-figured technique is well known in Etruria and Apulia (Beazley 1947, pp. 195--229), though I know of no close parallel there for our figure. For griffins in this technique see CVA, British Museum 7 [Great Britain 10], pl. 4 [479]:3 (from Fasano), with a pointed stroke for the penis, but otherwise very different from the griffin on 1682; Jacobsthal 1927, pl. 114:b. The griffins on Hadra vases often have gnarled forelegs like ours (e.g. Guerrini 1964, C 3, p. 15, pl. IV), but the plate form is not paralleled among published vessels from Crete, and pseudo red figure does not seem to have been employed there. It is, however, documented at Pergamon (PF II, D 22, D 23, p. 60, pls. 9, 11), where large-scale painted figures were favored; cf. also 1659. For griffins in other techniques on Hellenistic pottery see Behr 1988, no. 36, pp. 127--128, 136, fig. 10, pl. 15:1 ( painted and incised on a red-ware skyphos from Pergamon) and Corinth VII, iii, no. 943, p. 187, pl. 84 ( painted on the interior of a cup).