The J. Paul Getty Museum

Attic Red-Figure Oinochoe (Shape III, Chous)

Object Details


Attic Red-Figure Oinochoe (Shape III, Chous)


Greek (Attic)


Athens, Greece (Place Created)

Vulci, Italy (Place Found)


about 420 B.C.



Object Number:



17.3 cm (6 13/16 in.)

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Object Description

Three boys wearing leafy crowns play knucklebones on this Athenian red-figure oinochoe or jug. This special form of oinochoe, called a chous, was used during the Anthesteria, a three-day festival in honor of Dionysos, the god of wine. On the first day of the festival, the new wine was opened; a drinking contest on the second day used these jugs to hold a standard amount of wine.

The scenes depicted on the choes often portray the revelry of the festival and the activities of children. The prevalent role of children in the decoration of choes presumably reflects the importance of the festival to children. On the second day of the festival, in addition to the drinking contest, three-year-old boys were formally accepted into their fathers' kinship groups, becoming part of the community.


Found: Vulci, Italy (Caliò 2000, 716-19 reproduces an 1891 list of objects in Falcioni's collection in which the Vulci provenance is documented)

by 1876

Bonifacio Falcioni (Viterbo, Italy)

by 1894 - 1898

Count Michel Tyszkiewicz, Polish, 1828 - 1897 (Rome, Italy) [Collection d'Antiquites du Comte Michel Tszykiewicz. Hotel des Commissaire-Priseurs, Paris, 6-7 June, 1898, lot 18.]

- 1939

Martine-Marie-Pol de Béhague, comtesse de Béarn, French, 1870 - 1939 (Paris, France), by inheritance to her nephew, Marqués Octave Marie Hubert de Ganay Bèhague, 1939.

1939 - 1974

Marquis Octave Marie Hubert de Ganay, French, French, 1888 - 1974, by inheritance to his son, Jean-Louis Hubert, 1974.

1974 - 1987

Marquis Jean-Louis Hubert de Ganay, French, 1922 - 2013 [sold, Antiquites et Objets d'Art: Collection de Martine, Comptesse de Behague, provenant de la Succession du Marquis de Ganay, Sotheby's, Monaco, December 5, 1987, lot 147.]

- 1989

D. J. Susmani, sold to Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman, 1989.

1989 - 1996

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

A Passion for Antiquities: Ancient Art from the Collection of Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman (October 13, 1994 to April 23, 1995)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), October 13, 1994 to January 15, 1995
  • The Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland), February 14 to April 23, 1995
Ancient Art from the Permanent Collection (March 16, 1999 to May 23, 2004)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 16, 1999 to May 23, 2004
Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past (August 23, 2003 to December 5, 2004)
  • Hood Museum of Art (Hanover), August 23 to December 14, 2003
  • Onassis Cultural Center (New York), January 20 to April 15, 2004
  • Cincinnati Art Museum (Cincinnati), May 21 to August 1, 2004
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), September 14 to December 5, 2004

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Hartwig, Paul. "Joueurs d'osselets." Melanges d'archeologie et d'histoire 14 (1894), 275-284, pl. 4.

Froehner, W. Collection d'antiquites du Comte Michel Tyskiewicz. Paris: 1898, p. 15, no. 18.

Hotel des Commissaires-Priseurs, Paris. Collection D'Antiquites du Comte Michel Tyszkiewicz. June 8-10, 1898, p. 15, no.18.

Wolters, Paul. "Ein Salbgefass aus Tarent." Munchner Jahrbuch der Bildenden Kunst 8 (1913), p. 95, fig. 12.

Brueckner, A. Polyklets Knoechelwerfer. Winckelmannsprogramm der Archaeolohgischen Gesellschaft zu Berlin 77 (1920), p. 5.

Schroeder, B. Der Sport im Altertum. Berlin: 1927, p. 82, fig. 13.

Watzinger, C. In Griechische Vasenmalerei: Auswahl hervorragender Vasenbilder, serie III, text. Furtwangler, Adolf and Karl Reichhold. (Munich: F. Bruckmann, A.G., 1932), p. 331.

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Luigi M. Caliò, La collezione Bonifacio Falcioni (Citta del Vaticano: Direzione Generale dei Monumenti, Musei e Gallerie Pontificie, 2000), 10, 717.

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Kugler, Anthony R. "Playtime." Dig 6, no. 4 (April 2004), p. 9.

Spivey, Nigel and Squire, Michael. Panorama of the Classical World (Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2004), pp. 242-243, fig. 383.

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Snitkuvienė, Aldona. Biržų grafai Tiškevičiai ir jų Palikimas. (Kaunas : Nacionalinis M. K. Čiurlionio dailės muziejus, 2008), p. 232, no. 759.

Gougouli, Clio, and Despina Karakatsani. The Greek Toy: Journey through its History (Athens: National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation, 2008), p. 53, fig. 23.

Carè, B., "L'astragalo in tomba nel mondo Greco: un indicatore infantile? Vecchi problem e nuove osservazioni a proposito di un aspetto del costume funerario." In L'Enfant et la Mort dans L'Antiquité III: Le Matériel associé aux tombes d'Enfants, edited by A. Hermary and C. Dubois. Arles: Éditions Errance, 2012, 405, fig. 1 (drawing).

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Marconi, Clemente. "The Frames of Greek Painted Pottery", in The Frame in Classical Art: A Cultural History, edited by Verity Platt and Michael Squire. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2017, 117-153, p. 127, fig. 2.3.

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