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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Toy Chous (Juglet): Child Training a Dog
Work Type
c. 420 BCE
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe, Attica
Classical period, High
Persistent Link


Level 3, Room 3600, University Research Gallery
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Physical Descriptions

5.8 × 5.5 cm (2 5/16 × 2 3/16 in.)

State, Edition, Standard Reference Number

Standard Reference Number
Beazley Archive Database #13419

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Loan from Estate of Donald Upham and Mrs. R. U. Hunter
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art

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Small trefoil-mouthed chous (juglet); decoration in Six's Technique (added paint and yellowish diluted gloss): child training a dog. Handle missing.
This little jug or pitcher depicts a boy feeding, teasing, or training a dog with food. This miniature pitcher shape is called a “chous” in ancient Greek. Made in Athens, this vessel type was popular in the late 5th century BCE.
These little pitchers are connected to a spring festival in Athens called the Anthesteria, a festival of Dionysos that was especially connected to the new wine of the year and the arrival of spring. Some scholars have suggested that these little pitchers were used in festival ritual for the first taste of wine for three-year old children. They are often decorated, appropriately, with child-related themes such as this.
The little dog is a type known in antiquity as a Melitan (Maltese) dog. It is commonly depicted as a pet in ancient Greek art (see the grave stele of Melisto, 1961.86, for another depiction of a child teasing a Melitan dog in the collection).

Publication History

  • George M. A. Hanfmann, Greek Art and Life, An Exhibition Catalogue, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1950), no. 142.
  • Jenifer Neils and John Oakley, Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past, Yale University Press (U.S.) (New Haven, 2003), pp. 146, 285, cat. 95
  • Louise Calder, Cruelty and Sentimentality: Greek Attitudes to Animals, 600-300 BC, Archaeopress Publishing Ltd. (Oxford, 2011)

Exhibition History

  • Greek Art and Life: From the Collections of the Fogg Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Private Lenders, Fogg Art Museum, 03/07/1950 - 04/15/1950
  • Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past, Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, 08/23/2003 - 12/14/2003; Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation, New York, 01/20/2004 - 04/15/2004; Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, 05/21/2004 - 08/01/2004; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 09/14/2004 - 12/16/2004
  • A World Within Reach: Greek and Roman Art from the Loeb Collection, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/28/2023 - 05/07/2023

Related Works

Verification Level

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