The rhyton was a cup or container used for wine in ancient Greece. Its horn-shaped form terminating in the head of an animal derives from Middle Eastern models fashioned in precious metals dating from the ninth century B.C.
Finds of vases of this kind in the tombs of both men and women show they were common in the Greek colonies of southern Italy in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C.
The example in the Poldi Pezzoli collections is a red figure pottery with overpainting in white and yellow. It terminates in a head of a Laconian hound, a breed of Spartan origin. Around the neck of the vase runs a painted band showing a decorative pattern of palmettes and volutes and a woman, holding a bunch of grapes and a fan, seated on a rock.