The crystal structure of the title compound [Zn(C5H5N)(CS2OEt)2] has been determined from X-ray diffractometer data at 295 K and refined by full-matrix least squares to a residual of 0.061 for 1100 ‘observed’ reflections. Crystals are monoclinic A2/a, a = 14.001(5), b = 8.911(2), c = 13.731(6) Å, β = 104.80(3)°, Z = 4. The molecule lies on a twofold axis passing through the N-coordinated pyridine ring. The zinc atom is coordinated by the pyridine [Zn-N, 2.03(l) Å] and a pair of symmetry related asymmetric ethylxanthate chelates [Zn-S, 2.748(3), 2.294(3) Å]. The electronic spectrum of the complex has been studied in a variety of basic solvents and the spectra rationalized in terms of the observed structure.