Jar (pelike)

Early Classical Period
about 475 B.C.
the Class of Cabinet des Medailles 390

Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens


Height: 42 cm (16 9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Red Figure

On View

Greek Archaic Gallery (Gallery 113)


The Ancient World



Side A: Two cloaked, and modestly wrapped Theban youths sit on folding stools either side of a central Aeolic column on which the sphinx crouches, wings outspread.These youths may be ordinary citizens of Thebes, who sit pondering the riddle of the sphinx. Their folding-stools are decorated with the faces of gorgons and leopards. The placing of the sphinx on a column may have been suggested by the marble sphinxes perched on top of tomb monuments.

Side B: Two ithyphallic satyrs dance, each holding a drinking horn (rhyton), and one holds a pointed amphora.

Condition: Heavily restored.


By 1963: according to ARV, 2nd ed., p. 254.5: Italian market; by 1971: with Münzen und Medaillen A.G., Malzgasse 25, Basel, Switzerland; purchased by MFA from Münzen und Medaillen A.G., October 13, 1971

Beazley, J.D., Attic Red-Figure Vase-Painters, 2nd edition (Oxford, 1963), 254.5

Credit Line

Helen and Alice Colburn Fund