Cup in the shape of a donkey's head

Late Archaic Period
about 480 B.C.
the Brygos Painter

Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens

Catalogue Raisonné

Caskey-Beazley, Attic Vase Paintings (MFA), no. 022.


Length: 25.4 cm (10 in.) Diameter: 12 cm. (4 3/4 in)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Red Figure

Not On View


The Ancient World



This cup mimics the shape of a drinking horn; the body of the vessel is formed in the shape of a bridled mule’s head. Above the head the vessel also incorporates the flare of a typical drinking cup. Because it has no base, the liquid must be thoroughly imbibed before it can be set down. The mule wears a bridle. On one side of the cup flare, a satyr wearing a leopard skin runs by a drinking horn. On the front of the cup, another satyr crouches, waiting to ambush the maenad running towards him on the other side: his leopard skin billowing out behind him. The maenad (a female devotee of the wine-god Dionysus) runs away from the first satyr, brandishing her thyrsus (a fennel stalk). She also wears a leopard skin.

Condition: Cracks repaired. Added white paint on the mule’s snout is chipped.


By 1903, purchased in London by Edward Perry Warren (b. 1860 - d. 1928), London [see note]; 1903, sold by Edward Perry Warren to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 24, 1903)

NOTE: According to Warren's records, from an "old collection."

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1900