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Chous (Toy Pitcher)

A work made of terracotta, red-figure.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of terracotta, red-figure.


430-410 BCE


Greek; Athens

About this artwork

Toward the end of the 5th century BCE, Athenian potters and painters created a large number of miniature oinochoai (sing. oinochoe), or pitchers, decorated with children at play or imitating adults. It is thought that they were given to the youngest members of the family during the Anthesteria, a three-day celebration of the new vintage of wine and the arrival of spring. These little vessels are called choes (sing. chous), which means libations, after the name of the second day of the festival. Children took part in the festival but did not imbibe wine. On this example, a naked boy crawls toward a young bird on a perch. A chous hangs on the wall above him.


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Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium


Ancient Greek


Chous (Toy Pitcher)


Athens (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

430 BCE–410 BCE


Terracotta, red-figure


9.2 × 6.8 × 6.8 cm (3 11/16 × 2 3/4 × 2 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Martin A. Ryerson through The Antiquarian Society

Reference Number


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