Help us bring life to art, and art to lives. Make a donation.

Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta pyxis (cosmetic box)

1st half of 5th century B.C.
East Greek
Terracotta; red-figure
H.: 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1906
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171
The pyxis is inscribed in the Doric dialect of Greek, used in south-west Asia Minor and the neighboring island of Rhodes. Although there are difficulties in interpreting the metrical text, it may be taken to say "Brasia is the most beautiful on earth—so it seems to me," followed by the names of four Greek gods, Zeus, Hermes, Artemis, and Athena. Brasia may be the name of a well-known hetaira (courtesan).
Inscription: Inscribed: "the fairest [region] of the land is the Brasian as it seems to me" and: "Zeus, Hermes, Artemis, Athena".
Said to be from Rhodes

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 104, 244, pl. 84i, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Wachter, Rudolf and Oxford University Press. 2001. Non-Attic Greek Vase Inscriptions. pp. 222-3, no. DOH 3, Oxford.

Related Objects

Terracotta pyxis (box)

Date: ca. 465–460 B.C. Medium: Terracotta Accession: 07.286.36a, b On view in:Gallery 157

Terracotta cosmetic vase

Date: 4th quarter of the 6th century B.C. Medium: Terracotta Accession: 1977.11.3 On view in:Gallery 152

Terracotta askos in the form of a boar

Date: 4th century B.C. Medium: Terracotta Accession: 41.162.46 On view in:Gallery 161

Terracotta oinochoe (jug)

Date: late 10th–early 9th century B.C. Medium: Terracotta Accession: 30.118.1 On view in:Gallery 171

Terracotta alabastron (perfume vase) in the form of a woman holding a dove

Date: mid-6th century B.C. Medium: Terracotta Accession: 30.11.6 On view in:Gallery 152