Alabastron, Greek core-formed, glass

Production date
4th Century BCE-3rd Century BCE
See full details

Object detail

Albastron, core formed glass. On a base of deep cobalt blue, wavy bands of yellow and pale blue meander. Two small vertical ring handles, probably for attaching a stopper in the neck have been placed near the shoulder. The body is cylindrical, the neck is narrow and the mouth is trumpeting. Traces of tool marks. This vessel has strong and vibrant colours.
CH classification ARCHAEOLOGY Greek
Production date
4th Century BCE-3rd Century BCE
Production place
L118mm x W52mm x D45mm
Media/Materials description
History and use
A persons personalty can be communicated through the scents and perfumes they choose to wear. Smell is one of the strongest senses, inducing memories, associations and powerful emotions. Perfumes and scented oils were used in the ancient world to heighten attractiveness, and communicate wealth, status and express the nature of the person. Available in solid or liquid form, perfumes were used in all aspects of daily life, including sports events, banquets, rituals and provided as offerings to gods and the deceased.

This is a core-formed glass perfume bottle called an Albastron, named as early forms were made of alabaster.This may have been used to hold perfume. In ancient Greece, ‘scent-shops’ were prosperous businesses and served as meeting places where citizens enjoyed spending time, and exchanging news and gossip. The price of perfume was determined by the rarity of ingredients. Only the wealthy accessed the latest available scents, mixed by an expert perfumer. Perfumes were extensively traded around Greece and beyond but were extremely expensive, due to ingredient scarcity and labour costs.
Registration number


My shortlist



Explore other objects by colour