An animal frieze encircles the body of this Corinthian black-figure pyxis. Real and mythological creatures, including lions, a goat, a bull, and a bearded siren, make up the decoration. Their stylized, sharply outlined bodies rhythmically balance against one another. Rosettes fill the spaces around the animals. Above this, a lotus and palmette chain decorates the shoulder of the vessel. In place of handles, the potter has added mold-made female heads.
The pyxis was a container for perfumed oils and cosmetics. Beginning around 575 B.C., Corinthian potters occasionally added mold-made heads to these vessels. By the early 500s B.C., Corinthian pottery, with its simple and repetitive yet elegant decoration, had completely taken over the pottery market and became widely exported throughout the Mediterranean.