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June 2024
June 2024

RF Louvre Mug - armed owl

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Red Figure mug with the armed owl

The armed owl that decorates the surface of this classical mug is based on a red figure kypelon from the Louvre Museum (CA2192), dating to the 425-375 BC.

The little owl, symbol of wisdom in Greek antiquity, is associated with the goddess Athena and the city of Athens since it appears on the tetradrachm coin from 500 BC (a copy of which appears on the modern Greek one-euro coin) and in a 5th-century B.C. bronze statue of Athena holding the bird in her hand.

The humorous scene on this mug which was made around the time of the Peloponnesian war offers an example of ancient greek political cartoon art showing that the city of Athens is at war or that "wisdom is our armour to the battle of life".  

H: 10cm, RimD: 9cm, MaxL: 11,5cm