Greece, Hellenistic period, ca. late 4th to 2nd century BCE. A finely molded ceramic alabastron, with a teardrop shaped body, a short attenuated neck, a dramatically flared, flat rim, and narrow mouth - all upon a rounded base. The body has been decorated with a stamped design of repeated acanthus leaf shapes around the upper mid-body. Alabastra are long-bodied vessels with flat disks for the mouth. The shape was common in Corinth, and came to Athens in the sixth century BCE. The term alabastron is Greek with Egyptian origins, and many of the oldest examples are painted white, perhaps in imitation of the stone. This example displays the natural color of alabaster. Alabastra were used to hold perfumed oil; in fact, scenes on painted vases show women using them to apply it after bathing. Size: 2.7" W x 8.75" H (6.9 cm x 22.2 cm); 9" H (22.9 cm) on included custom stand.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection; ex-Richard Wagner collection, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA, acquired in the 1970s
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