Cut from one piece of stone, the vase consists of the container, in the form of a woman holding a lotos flower, and a base embellished with four female heads. The work is an Etruscan response to perfume flasks with the busts of women that originated in the Near East and spawned adaptations in Cyprus, East Greece, and Etruria. The concept of decorating four sides of a vessel ultimately derives from the East as well. Related works are exhibited in the Belfer Court on the main floor.
Said to be from Vulci (Sotheby’s New York, June 5, 2008, lot 15)
By 1963 and until 1975, collection of Mrs. Brenda Bomford and H. J. P. Bomford, Esq., Wiltshire, United Kingdom; July 1975, purchased by a Japanese private collector through Sotheby’s, London; 1975-2008, private collection, Japan; acquired in 2008, purchased through Sotheby’s, New York.
Haynes, Sybille. 1963. "An Etruscan Alabastron." Antike Kunst, 6: pp. 3–5, pl. 1.
Moorey, Peter Roger Stuart and Hector William Catling. 1966. Exhibition of Ancient Persian Bronzes: Presented to the Department of Antiquities by James Bomford, Esquire, and other Selected Items of Ancient Art from the Collection of Mrs. Brenda Bomford: October 10th to 30th, 1966 no. 368, Oxford: Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford University.
Johansen, Flemming S. 1971. Reliefs en bronze d'Étrurie. pp. 67, 127, Copenhague: Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek.
Sotheby's, London. June 16, 1975. Egyptian, Middle Eastern, Greek, Etruscan and Roman antiquities, Islamic art, African, Oceanic and American Indian art, Tibetan, Nepalese, Indian and South-east Asian Art. June 1, 1975. lot 224.