A Ruminant Head … and Paws?

There is a little cup from Znojmo, now Czechia, that doesn’t have the spout but has an animal head with little horns and 4 legs with very small nubbin feet that look a bit bigger than hooves but not clearly human feet, as with some other finds from this period. It was found in a settlement context, and is one of the cups listed in Table 1 of Dunne et al. Compare a similar era cup from a burial site a couple hundred miles to the south – far more literal, identifiable cattle features with definite hooves. But, as great a find as it is, let’s face it, not as cute as the cup on the left.

This is such a sweet little round animal shape, and the “paws” really get me.

I admit, I’ve been shying away from the abrupt, tall, upright mouths on top of some of these cups, modeling my adaptations to show a smoother transition from the cup to mouth.

With this one, I broke my own rule about picking up pieces from the pottery studio (wrap in at least one layer of paper and place in a box or bag with handles) and carried my copy out to the car in my stupid butterfingery hands. As I stepped out of the front door, I dropped it, and it broke in half + its horns broke off. Whoops. Oh well. Now it’s glued together like a real archaeological find. I will probably revisit this one, and make its proportions reflect the almost hippo-like spacing of the original’s legs.

My earthenware copy of the Znojmo cup. This was
bisque fired and will not be glazed.

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