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Terracotta alabastron (perfume vase)

Period:
Archaic
Date:
ca. 520 B.C.
Culture:
Greek, Attic
Medium:
Terracotta; black-figure
Dimensions:
H. 3 9/16 in. (9.1 cm)
Classification:
Vases
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1941
Accession Number:
41.162.97
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 171
On the bottom, gorgoneion (head of Medusa)

The alabastron is unusual in both its shape and decoration. The body is sack-like, widening distinctly toward the bottom, and the mouth is small and thick. The succession of ornaments ends in the tondo with a gorgoneion. This area of an alabastron is often specially decorated, suggesting that the objects hung freely or were handled rather than being immobilized in a stand.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 75, 217, pl. 57g, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

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