Sculptural vase: drinking horn with a crocodile devouring an African boy

Classical Period
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.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Red Figure

Out on Loan

On display at Harvard Art Museums, September 7, 2018 – January 6, 2019


The Ancient World



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.
[Label text]:
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: [1] According to Warren's records, this was bought three kilometers from Santa Maria Capua Vetere and found "in the neighborhood". [2] This is the total price paid for MFA accession nos. 98.641-98.940.

Credit Line

Henry Lillie Pierce Fund