Glass aryballus (oil bottle) with bronze handle


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 168

Translucent blue green; handles in same color.
Broad rim folded out, down, round, and in, with sloping upper surface; cylindrical neck with slightly convex side and tooling marks around base; horizontal shoulder; squat, globular body; thick, pushed-in bottom with projecting pontil scar; two opposed ring handles applied to top edge of body, drawn up across shoulder and neck to underside of rim, then trailed down in a loop to shoulder.
Intact; some large and pinprick bubbles; slight soil encrustation and faint weathering on exterior, soil deposits on bottom of interior and brownish weathering on sides.
Attached to each handle, a bronze ring made by bending length of wire into circle; attached to rings a bronze handle in form of an inverted rounded U with tapering finials bent back along sides of U. Some accretions and bronze disease on handle.

Such bottles were used for carrying oil to the baths. There the oil was applied to the skin and then scraped off with the strigil.

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