Greek Core-Formed Glass Aryballos

£ 2,500.00

A core-formed, ancient Greek, opaque glass aryballos with linear decoration. The vessel is composed of a large globular body leading to a squat, trumpet-style neck. The neck leads to a broad, inward sloping rim-disc. The base colour of the aryballos is a beautiful, opaque, powder blue. Opaque, yellow, linear patterns decorate the shoulders and top of the body. A zigzagging turquoise line sits beneath the yellow, decorating the mid-section of the flask. Two scrolled lug handles have been applied, connecting the rim to the body. The body sits on a rounded base. The body is decorated with vivid polychrome trails alternating stripes of bright yellow with a lighter blue zigzagging pattern , which stands out on the opaque, marine blue of the rest of the surface.

Date: Circa 6th-5th century BC
Provenance: Ex private Belgian collection, formed in the 19th century. Belgian art market, 1956.
Condition: Fine condition, but presents a large chip on its rim
Product Code: GS-92
Category: Tags: , ,

Glass was often the preferred material for storing expensive oils, perfumes, and medicines in antiquity because it was not porous. The small body and mouth allowed the user to carefully pour and control the amount of liquid dispensed. Aryballoi,sometimes called oil bottles,  were small vessels used for storing perfumes and scented oils, and were usually made of blown glass. More elaborately decorated and slightly larger examples of these oil bottles were called amphoriskoi and were produced by glassmakers in Syria and Palestine. Aryballoi of this type were also produced in Syria, and in the West.

To learn more about Roman glass, visit our relevant post: How It Was Made: Roman Glass.

Weight 34.2 g
Dimensions W 4 x H 6 cm

Sand Core


Southern Europe

Reference: For similar: The British Museum, London, item 1864,1007.1206

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