Feeder-filter vase

Greek, East Greek
Archaic period
575–550 B.C.

Findspot: Anatolia (Turkey), Troad, Assos (Behramkale), Pithos No. 1

Catalogue Raisonné

Fairbanks, Vases (MFA), no. 390.


Overall: 11.5 x 13 cm (4 1/2 x 5 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

Gallery 212A-B


Europe, The Ancient World



Local (Aeolic) gray ceramic. The strainer in the foot filtered out impurities. Such small spouted vases were used for children. The combination of feeding spout and strainer is, however unusual.

How it worked: when turned upside down, liquid could be filtered into the body of the vessel through the small holes at its base. The liquid would pass through a hollow cylindrical structure connected to the interior of the base (seen with the aid of X-radiography), which would block liquid from flowing back out of the vessel once turned right side up. Strained liquid could then be poured from the spout of the vessel.


From Assos (Behramkale, Turkey); Pithos No. 1. 188?: excavated by the Archaeological Institute of America; gift of the Archaeological Institute of America to MFA, January 15, 1884.

Credit Line

Gift of the Archaeological Institute of America