Skip to Content

Open today 12–1 p.m. members | 1–8 p.m. public. Learn more.

Alabastron (Container for Scented Oil)

A work made of glass, core-formed technique.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of glass, core-formed technique.

Date:

6th-4th century BCE

Artist:

Ancient Mediterranean; Alexandria, Egypt

About this artwork

Initially affordable only among the wealthy, glass was used in ancient Rome as containers for oils, perfume, and tablewares. In the ancient Mediterranean world, scented oils, usually olive oil based, were generally used rather than alcohol-based perfumes. This vessel is called an “alabastron” because objects of this shape were originally made of alabaster. Core-formed glass was made by dipping a removable core that gives the vessel its shape into a molten glass mixture. The pattern was created by trailing threads of glass mixture of different colors over the body of the vessel, then combing the threads with a pointed tool.

Currently Off View

Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium

Artist

Ancient Mediterranean

Title

Alabastron (Container for Scented Oil)

Origin

Mediterranean Region

Date

600 BCE–301 BCE

Medium

Glass, core-formed technique

Dimensions

13.3 × 3.8 × 3.8 cm (5 1/4 × 1 1/2 × 1 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Theodore W. and Frances S. Robinson

Reference Number

1949.1164

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

Share

Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions

Share