Terracotta amphoriskos (flask) in the form of a bird-man

Period: Classical

Date: late 5th century B.C.

Culture: Greek, Attic

Medium: Terracotta; black-glaze

Dimensions: Overall: 7 x 3 1/4 in. (17.8 x 8.3 cm)

Classification: Vases

Credit Line: Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Christos G. Bastis Gift, 1999

Accession Number: 1999.68


This extraordinary vase of a bird-man, of high technical quality, is unique among the examples of Attic black-glazed pottery known today. It almost certainly relates to Aristophanes' well-known comedy The Birds (first produced in 415/414 B.C.) and may represent the costume that would have been worn by members of the chorus in the fifth century B.C.