Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Terracotta aryballos (oil flask) in the form of three cockleshells

late 6th century B.C.
Greek, Attic
H. 2 7/16 in. (6.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1923
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 154
Inscribed on the lip, "the boy is fair"

Such small bottles held the olive oil used by athletes to cleanse themselves after exercise. This exquisite vase is embellished with black and red lines that accentuate the outer rims of the three shells.
Inscription: Inscribed on the lip, "the boy is fair"
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1924. "Greek Terracottas: Recent Accessions." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 19 (5): pp. 128-9, fig. 5.

Richter, Gisela M. A. and Marjorie J. Milne. 1935. Shapes and Names of Athenian Vases. p. 16, fig. 108, New York: Plantin Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. p. 75, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Beazley, John D. 1963[1942]. Attic Red-figure Vase-painters, Vols. 1 and 2, 2nd ed. p. 25, no. 1 bottom, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Cohen, Beth. 2006. The Colors of Clay: Special Techniques in Athenian Vases no. 78, pp. 266-67, Malibu: J. Paul Getty Trust.

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