Ancient Greece, Archaic period, ca. 6th century BCE. A beautiful vessel of a huge form, hand-carved from yellow-white alabaster that exhibits areas of the original polished surface. The vessel is defined by a squat discoid base, a characteristically elongated body with a wide base that tapers to a gently curved shoulder, a thick neck, and a broad, everted rim surrounding the petite mouth. The shoulder and lower body are each adorned with a trio of incised parallel rings that perhaps provided a textured surface for gripping in the absence of handles. This vessel typology is known as an alabastron, so-called because many vessels of this time were sculpted from alabaster. The shape was common in Corinth and came to Athens in the sixth century BCE - this is an early example of one of these. The term alabastron is Greek with Egyptian origins, and many of the oldest examples are painted white, perhaps in imitation of the stone. Size: 3.8" W x 12.8" H (9.7 cm x 32.5 cm)
A stylistically similar example, of a shorter size, hammered for GBP 3,750 ($4,902.80) at Christie's, London, South Kensington "Antiquities" auction (sale 6060, April 14, 2011, lot 211).
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection; ex-Dr. Sid Port collection, California, USA, acquired in the 1980s
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Professionally repaired from multiple pieces, with restoration to areas of rim and center of foot, resurfacing along new material, and small chips along unrestored break lines. Minor abrasions and nicks to base, body, and rim, with heavy encrustations, and light softening to some incised rings. Nice earthen deposits throughout.