This is a wonderful cup by a well known painter, with marvellous scenes. Side A: an ithyphallic satyr grabs a deer from behind with both hands. Side B: a satyr copulating with a deer.
There are other cups by the Oakeshott Painter in museums around the world: Boston, Museum of Fine Arts (69.1052); Cyrene, Museum (409.13); Frankfurt, Liebieghaus (528); Kurashiki Ninagawa Museum, Japan (25); New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art (17.230.5); Oxford, Ashmolean Museum (1966.941; 1972.162, the name-piece for the painter); Samos, Vathy Museum (K2599; K6791; K6925); see also the Beazley Archive.
An especially interesting parallel for our cup, created by the same painter, can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, where an ithyphallic satyr is approaching a mule from behind with sexual intentions. Even closer is a skyphos in Athens, where a deer is sexually assaulted by a satyr.
The Oakeshott painter (formerly known as the Painter of the New York Band Cup) received his name from Beazley, who renamed him in honour of Sir Walter and his wife Noel Oakeshott, when they donated a cup by the painter to the Ashmolean Museum Oxford; this cup (inv. nr. 1972.162) has become the name-piece of the painter.
For the painter see Pieter Heesen, Athenian Little-Master Cups (diss. Amsterdam, 2009), p. 143-148, nos. 229-234, fig. 86, pls. 65c-66e; D. Fales, "The Oakeshott Painter, Lydos and the Centaur and BMN Painters", American Journal of Archaeology 75 (1971), p. 201.
Galerie Nefer 8 (1990), 13 no. 9; mentioned in Maria Pipili, Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum Athens, Fascicule 4, Attic Black-Figure Skyphoi (Athens, 1993), p. 35 as a parallel to skyphos 22833 (pl. 23, 3-4); Tiere und Mischwesen, Katalog 11 (Basel, Cahn, 1999), no. 40 (there attributed to the Centaur Painter).
For a comparable scene of a satyr approaching a maenad on a cup from Samos see Bettina Kreuzer, Die attisch schwarzfigurige Keramik aus dem Heraion von Samos (Samos XXII) (Bonn, 1998) p. 181-182 no. 247, pl. 43. For the deer as the "victim" of a satyr instead of the more commonly depicted donkey see François Lissarrague, "The Sexual Life of Satyrs" in: David M. Halperin – John J. Winkler – Froma I. Zeitlin (eds.), Before Sexuality. The Construction of Erotic Experience in the Ancient Greek World (Princeton NJ, Princeton University Press, 1990) p. 62, 76, fig. 2.19-2.20; see also Klaus Vierneisel - Berthold Helmut Kaeser (Hrsg.), Kunst der Schale - Kultur des Trinkens (München, Staatliche Antikensammlungen, 1990), 406-407.
Attica, circa 545-530 B.C.
Height 13.7 cm, width including handles 28.7 cm, diameter 21.3-21.8 cm
Swiss private collection; thereafter with Galerie Nefer, Zürich (1990); thereafter Swiss private collection; thereafter with Jean-David Cahn, Basel (1999-2007); thereafter Dutch private collection.
Complete, reassembled with no new material. On side B is an stained area, which has occurred prior to the firing of the cup.