The Vapheio cups. Vapheio, Laconia, 1st half of 15th cent. BC.
These are two masterpieces of Creto-Mycenaean metalwork, found together with other precious objects in the Vapheio tholos tomb. On the first cup (1758) a bull is captured by peaceful means: a man ties a rope around the bull's leg, while the animal mates with a cow; three grazing bulls complete the composition. The second cup (1759) shows one bull caught in a net while another attacks two hunters as a third hunter flees. Both cups were probably made by the same craftsman, although the first cup is more carefully executed.