Terracotta scent-bottle in the form of a warrior's head


British Museum

British Museum

Large quantities of small scent-bottles were made on the island of Rhodes between about 600 and 540 BC. Helmeted heads were one of the most popular forms; female busts, human legs and feet, a variety of animals and even cockle shells are also found. Large numbers of these bottles have been found on Rhodes itself, but many were exported over long distances, sometimes as far west as southern Italy and Sicily.The bottles were usually made in two moulds, front and back, with the mouth of the bottle made separately on a wheel. They were decorated in the same way as contemporary pottery, with solutions of dilute clay (slip). Because these were added before firing, the colours are often very well preserved.

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  • Title: Terracotta scent-bottle in the form of a warrior's head
  • Date Created: -600/-550
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 6.80cm; Width: 5.20cm; Weight: 70.00g
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: slipped
  • Registration number: 1922,1017.2
  • Production place: Made in Rhodes
  • Place: Excavated/Findspot Kamiros
  • Period/culture: Rhodian
  • Material: terracotta
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Purchased from Money, Walter. Purchased through Mole Rosling & Vernon. Collected by Hornby, Geoffrey Thomas Phipps