This extremely rare vase is unusual in being moulded almost entirely in the round. 'Plastic' vases, a new category of sculptural vases, began to appear in Athens at the beginning of the 4th Century B.C.; they were characterised by having a moulded sculptural front, a wide opening and a flat reverse which was generally black-glazed, sometimes with red-figure ornament. This piece depicts a woman crouching on one knee to play the popular game of astragala (knucklebones), a sculptural type first seen around 360 B.C. which became particularly popular in the Hellenistic period, since it gave the opportunity to show the female form in an interesting and unusual pose. For a terracotta statuette of the type, cf. R. A. Higgins, Greek Terracottas, London, 1967, p. 103, pl. 44A.