Sculptural vase: drinking horn with a crocodile devouring an African boy
about 460 B.C.
Manner of the Sotades Painter
Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens
Overall: 23 x 23 cm (9 1/16 x 9 1/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Ceramic, Red Figure
Out on Loan
On display at Harvard Art Museums, September 7, 2018 – January 6, 2019
Crocodile devouring an African boy; a drinking horn emerges behind them; hexagonal base; around the rim of the horn is a Bacchic scene with four figures; two satyrs and two maenads; intact. The horn suggests that the vase is a rhyton (funnel vase), but there is no outlet for wine at the base of the vase.
A modeled representation of an African being devoured by a crocodile supports the cup of this rhyton. Foreigners like the one depicted here were often slaves in Greece. Maenads and satyrs dance around the rim of the vessel. One satyr holds a wineskin and an amphora for storing wine, evidence for the use of ryhta like this one.
By 1898, purchased near Santa Maria Capua Vetere by Edward Perry Warren (b. 1860 - d. 1928), London [see note 1]; 1898, sold by Edward Perry Warren to the MFA for $69,618 [see note 2]. (Accession Date: September 20, 1898)
NOTES:  According to Warren's records, this was bought three kilometers from Santa Maria Capua Vetere and found "in the neighborhood".  This is the total price paid for MFA accession nos. 98.641-98.940.
Henry Lillie Pierce Fund