Figurine of a seated girl with bag (phormiskos) of knucklebones

Hellenistic Period
300–250 B.C.

Place of Manufacture: Greece, Boiotia, Tanagra


Overall: 14 x 7.2 x 6.5 cm (5 1/2 x 2 13/16 x 2 9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Terracotta, Painted

On View

Daily Life in Ancient Greece Gallery (Gallery 212A-B)


The Ancient World



Little girl seated on a cubic block, holding a small bag in her right hand. The girl wears a short-sleeved chiton. Her long hair is curled at the sides and is braided on top leading to a knot at the crown of her head. A large, almost square vent hole takes up most of the back side of the block. Red-brown color is preserved on hair and bag, brown on eyes, red on lips, pink preserved on shoulders of chiton; traces of pink on chiton; white base layer well preserved over most of composition; gray-black on seat. The front of the plinth is broken off. The figure was fastened to a flat base plate before firing.

Almost certain that the bag she carries in her right hand contains knucklebones. Children are often depicted clutching a sack filled with their knucklebones.

Her hairstyle is known as the lampadion, or “little torch,” because the piles resemble the flames of a torch.


By 1901: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: Bought in Paris.); purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, December 1901

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution