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Notae Numismaticae - Zapiski Numizmatyczne — 7.2012

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Kraków 2012

The National Museum in Kraków

Arethusa Cups in the Collection of the Princes
Czartoryski Museum in Kraków.
The Coin as a Decorative Element in Pottery

In the 1880s, Prince Władysław Czartoryski exchanged correspondence with
Carlo Borrani, an antiąuarian, and Ricardo Mancini, an engineer-“archaeologisf ’
exploring the necropoleis at Orvieto.' In light of the letters frorn Borrani, who
dealt with the forwarding of antiąuities, the Prince had apparently purchased
a certain number of objects from the Canicella necropolis, a provenance that is fur-
ther confirmed in Czartoryskie correspondence with the French archivist, palaeog-
rapher, and collector Charles Casati, a witness of MancinFs discoveries. These
artefacts are not specified in the letter, but the inventory seąuence of the items ob-
tained in 1889 has basically facilitated their identification. Not all of the objects in
ąuestion correspond with the typical grave goods of the Orneto cemetery explored
by Mancini. Some of them (including a group of objects obtained earlier, in 1884)
possess features indicative of their provenance from Latium and Campania. There
is, among other things, a black-glazed stemless kylix (PI. I)1 2 on a triple-profiled
foot narrowing in the upper part, with a shallow bowl; its thin walls curve slightly
inwards. The horizontal handles, curved upward at their ends, are set below the
rim and rise above the level of the edge. The inside of the vessel is decorated with
a silvery relief medallion with a depiction of the nymph Arethusa’s head

1 K. MOCZULSKA, “Kontakty kolekcjonerskie Władysława Czartoryskiego we Włoszech (C. Borrani,
R. Mancini, Ch. Casati),” Meander 5-6, 1985, pp. 211-215. The inventory of the letters in the collection of the
Princes Czartoryski Library, cf. IBIDEM, n. 3, 17.
2 Inv. no. MNK XI - 866 (collection of the Princes Czartoryski Foundation deposited with the National Mu-
seum in Kraków). Red clay, black metallic glaze. Dimensions: height- 5 cm; diameter- 12 cm; diameter, includ-
ing handles - 19.3 cm; foot diameter - 6.8 cm; medallion diameter - 3 cm. Condition: minor glaze abrasion, rnore
noticeable on one of the vessel sides. Cf. K. BULAS, CVA Pologne 2, Cracovie, Kraków 1935, p. 22, pl. 19,6.