The legacy left behind by the people of Thrace in terms of art is a direct embodiment of their culture, a combination of local ideas and influences from the outside. A good number of priceless and unique objects discovered in Thracian tombs serve as examples of their cultural model. Despite the fact that it might be a bit challenging and at times too difficult to tell imported valuables from local exemplars, there are still some distinguishable features that are typical for the Thracian craftsmanship. For instance, quite typical for the Thracian art is the use of bright colors for paintings that served as decorations in tombs. Other usual characteristics include the use of metal vessels for different purposes (like the burial of the remnants of someone who passed away) as well as intriguing jewelries made of precious metals.
Being part of Vasil Bojkov Collection, this bronze oinochoe is an example of what Thracians could craft as far back as 460 BC. The vase has an intricate shape with a trefoil spout and only one handle. This is normally how they used to be produced. Even though some of them could be seen without any decoration and in a completely plain style, this one has several interesting elements. Firstly, there is the Ionic kymation that decorates the rim. What can usually be ascribed to this type of kymation is the sequence of egg-and-dart moulding. There are several types of kymation but, generally speaking, the word itself is used as a term for an ornament in the shape of a strip or a ribbon.
The ornamentation continues on the handle as well. It has ribs along its borders that gradually change into delicate lines of beads. Similar beads line runs in its middle too and finally ends in three nearly pointed leaves. Right under them is another fascinating attachment – a head of a siren with her claws on a reversed egg. Two large sickle-shaped wings and another pair of smaller wings emerge from her triangular body. Once again we observe exquisite detailed work as two ranges of feathers complete the design of the wings. Easy to notice is the oval face of the siren, her small eyes and her mouth that is wide open. Her hair is separated in the middle and two visible locks above the temples are stiffly held by a ribbon. A bit exaggerated and enlarged are the claws of her feet.
The overall shape of the body of the vase is ovoid and squat – the low base has a simple torus. this particular shape of the vase is considered somewhat well-established in the second quarter of the 5th century BC. However, the exact dating of this artefact is still difficult to tell. Adding up to this fact is the siren’s hairdo. It seems to remain in fashion from the 460’s BC to the beginning of the 4th century BC, at least when it comes to sculptures. Interestingly enough, the vase that belongs to Vasil Bojkov Collection has an exact parallel – an oinochoe of unknown provenance that is kept in the Metropolitan Museum of Arts.