Lion Key Fob

  • This striking key fob features a ferocious lion as seen on a terracotta kylix or wine cup on view in the antiquities collection at the Getty Villa.

    A snarling lion decorates the interior of this Lakonian black-figure kylix or cup. The placement of the lion's body, with its head turned back and its paw raised, serves to animate the creature and also represents the painter's attempt to find a creative way to fill the cup's circular interior. Simple rays, banding, and palmettes at the handles decorate the cup's exterior.

    Vase-painters in Lakonia specialized in the decoration of cups, which were exported around the Mediterranean. The choice of an animal for the main decoration of the cup is somewhat unusual for Lakonian work. Unlike the Corinthian vase-painters, the Lakonians generally shunned the animal style in favor of scenes of people and mythology. The use of the animal style here probably reflects the general decline of Lakonian vase-painting in the mid-500s B.C.

    Black-Figure Kylix
    Attributed to Hunt Painter (Greek (Lakonian), active 565 - 530 B.C.), Greek (Laconian)
    Sparta, Greece
    about 540 B.C.
    8.8 × 17 × 11.7 cm (3 7/16 × 6 11/16 × 4 5/8 in.)

    - Diameter of keyfob: 1 1/4 in
    - Materials: stainless steel
    - Item #: KEYLWC

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