On one side of the 2,500-year-old Greek wine cup, decorum rules: the god Dionysos is being handed wine in a similar clay bowl by a helpful satyr.
On the other side, things have got dramatically rowdier: a maenad is being energetically chased by two satyrs clearly the worse for drink; the one grasping her arm is lugging along a wine-skin of refreshment.
"I don't think she looks in any way threatened, she looks very well able to take care of herself," said Lucilla Burn, keeper of antiquities at the Fitzwilliam Museum, in Cambridge, which has just acquired the cup.
The Cockerell cup is named after its last owner, the late Sir Christopher Cockerell, inventor of the hovercraft. The cup, painted by one of the most renowned Athenian pottery decorators, and in outstanding condition, was acquired by the museum, with a £50,000 grant from the Art Fund charity towards the £100,000 purchase price.
The museum already has a world-famous collection of Athenian red-figure vases, but few deriving from this late period.
The museum is a peculiarly appropriate home for the cup, because though Sir Christopher bought the vessel from a London dealer in the 1960s, his father, Sir Sydney Cockerell, was a former director of the Fitzwilliam, and himself a renowned collector.
The academic and art historian was reportedly disgusted when his son showed early genius for engineering rather than fine art. When the young Christopher chose the book The Boy Electrician instead of a biography of Rembrandt as a birthday present, his father snorted that he was "no better than a garage hand".