Athenian red figure cup supported by an African

Classical Period
about 440 B.C.

Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens


30.3 cm (11 15/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Red Figure

Not On View


The Ancient World



Cup supported by an African. Two men and three women, all draped in various postures. The center of the composition lost. The support of the cup an African with brown hair, dragging along a white crane.
[Label text]:
The cup of this drinking horn is supported by a modeled depiction of an African dwarf dragging a crane. From Homer and other ancient authors, we learn of an Egyptian superstition that cranes fly south to attack and annoy the Pygmies. These Africans battled with the large birds to protect their fields and destroyed the cranes’ eggs to prevent them from multiplying. On the rim of the cup are draped male and female figures.


By 1903: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: Bought in London. From an old collection.); purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, March 24, 1903

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1900