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Monkey Aryballos

Monkey Aryballos

c. 580 BC

Earthenware with slip decoration

Diameter of mouth: 2 cm (13/16 in.); Overall: 9 cm (3 9/16 in.); Diameter of base: 3.7 cm (1 7/16 in.)

Seventy-fifth anniversary gift of Dr. Leo Mildenberg in honor of Arielle P. Kozloff 1991.50

Fun Fact

An aryballos is a small jar for scented oils and perfumes.

Description

Perfume flasks in the form of a monkey are numerous, but few are as well made and preserved as this one. The flask was worn suspended from the wrist by a cord. Its owner would take it to the communal baths and anoint himself with its contents afterward. Such flasks have been found throughout the Mediterranean and Egypt, but this vessel was likely made at a Greek settlement on the west coast of Asia Minor.

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