Rattle in the Shape of a Recumbent Lion

Unknownabout 600 - 575 B.C.

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

A lion resting with his legs tucked under his body forms the body of this Corinthian plastic vase. So-called plastic vases, vessels made in the form of a human, animal, or mythological being, were popular in the Greek world from about 650 to 550 B.C. Although such vessels were made in many places, Corinth was a leading manufacturing center. The lion's resting pose and the use of rows of dots to indicate the fur are typical features of Corinthian plastic vases.

Plastic vases were used to hold perfumed oil; the small, simple opening in the top of the lion's head was designed to restrict the flow of this precious commodity. Two small holes placed on either side of the lion's mane originally held a cord for suspending the vase. An artisan made this vessel using a two-piece mold, into which thin sheets of clay were pressed. When slightly dry, the two halves of the vessel were joined with a clay paste and the vase was decorated.

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  • Title: Rattle in the Shape of a Recumbent Lion
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: about 600 - 575 B.C.
  • Location Created: Corinth, Greece
  • Physical Dimensions: 5.1 x 2.7 x 10.1 cm (2 x 1 1/16 x 3 15/16 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Terracotta
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California
  • Object Type: Plastic vase
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 86.AE.697
  • Display Location: Currently on view at: Getty Villa, Gallery 201C, Peristyle, Animals in Antiquity
  • Department: Antiquities
  • Culture: Greek (Corinthian)
  • Classification: Vessels