Greek Terracotta Flask in the Form of a Woman’s Head

SKU X.0062
Circa

300 BC to 200 BC

Dimensions

6.25″ (15.9cm) high

Medium

Terracotta

Origin

Mediterranean

Gallery Location

S Korea


 

This charming flask was created in the shape of a beautiful woman’s head. She has an expressive face with fleshy cheeks and a soft smile. Her eyes are open, and appear to stare outwards into space, as if the artist captured her in the midst of a daydream. She wears a saccos tied in her wavy hair. Who is this mysterious woman? A goddess perhaps, maybe Aphrodite? Or does she represent a more earthly entity, like a princess or a wealthy merchant’s wife? Considering that this flask was created from a mold and that there would have been multiple examples in antiquity, it is safe to assume that she must be a celebrated personality like a goddess who would have been easily recognized wherever the wares were exported.

The head flask form was a remarkably popular innovation that is perhaps best represented by later Roman glass examples, which were probably influenced by terracotta predecessors such as this work. The vessel would have once contained precious substances like exotic perfumes or fragrant oils. Since the work itself is as valuable as the substances it once held inside, it is safe to assume that this flask was a prized possession of a member of the upper classes of wealthy merchants who could afford such luxuries. Today, this ancient vessel remains a treasured item, prized for its striking beauty and fascinating history.

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