Oinochoe Handle

Unknown100 - 50 B.C.

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Triton, a mythological creature, half-man, half-sea serpent, forms this silver handle now detached from its original vessel. Triton once held a trident, a frequent attribute of sea beings, in his left hand, and gilding elaborated much of the handle's surface. The figure's torso would have stood up over the rim of the vessel as a decorative element. The scaly lower body of Triton formed the functional part of the handle. The acanthus leaves from which the torso emerges served to hide the join between the handle and the rim of the vessel.

The form of the handle suggests that it was originally attached to an oinochoe or pitcher. Such an elaborate oinochoe would have been part of an ornate set of serving and drinking vessels owned by a wealthy person.

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  • Title: Oinochoe Handle
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: 100 - 50 B.C.
  • Location Created: Macedonia or Illyria, Magna Graecia
  • Physical Dimensions: 9.5 x 27 cm, 0.4553 kg (3 3/4 x 10 5/8 in., 1.0038 lb.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Silver with gilding
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California
  • Object Type: Oinochoe
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 85.AM.163
  • Display Location: Currently on view at: Getty Villa, Gallery 105, Luxury Vessels
  • Department: Antiquities
  • Culture: Greek
  • Classification: Vessels