The J. Paul Getty Museum

Tripod Pyxis

Object Details


Tripod Pyxis




Greek (Corinthian)


Greece (Corinth) (Place Created)


about 570 B.C.



Object Number:



6.8 × 11 cm (2 11/16 × 4 5/16 in.)

Credit Line:

Gift of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman

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Object Description

During the 700s and 600s B.C., images of animals and monsters often decorated luxury items imported to Greece from the Near East. The Greeks soon began reproducing these images in their own art. Among these monsters was a half-human, half-bird creature that became linked with the Greek mythological beings known as sirens. Sirens bewitched men with song and lured them to their deaths in the epic poem The Odyssey. In later representations, sirens are most often female. But in the 600s and early 500s B.C., both male and female sirens populate Greek art.

One leg of this Corinthian black-figure tripod pyxis depicts a siren clearly meant to be male because of his beard. He wears a red fillet, or ribbon, in his hair and spreads his wings over his back. The second and third legs of the pyxis depict a large long-necked bird, perhaps a swan or goose.

The tripod pyxis was a small container meant to hold jewelry, cosmetics, or other little items. Originally, this pyxis would have had a lid, which is now missing.

by 1992

Charles Ede, Ltd. (London, England)

- 1996

Barbara Fleischman and Lawrence Fleischman, American, 1925 - 1997 (New York, New York), donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1996.

Remembering Antiquity: The Ancient World Through Medieval Eyes (January 24 to May 28, 2017)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), January 24 to May 28, 2017

Charles Ede Ltd., London. Corinthian Pottery 8, 1992, no. 18.

True, Marion, and Kenneth Hamma, eds. A Passion For Antiquities. Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman, exh. cat. (Malibu: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 1994), p. 353, cat. no. 193.

"Museum Acquisitions Between July 1, 1996, and June 30, 1998." The Report of the J. Paul Getty Trust (1997-98), p. 67.