Homeric ‘Siren’ Alabastron from Corinth


Circa 600-550 BC

Description: Perfume flask (aryballos) in the form of a Homeric ‘Siren’ with bold female facial features framed by long hair with traces of original pigment and pierced ears. Her slender neck merges into a round, bird-like body with splayed flat tail and round cursory feet. Curious as he approached the narrow straights that were home to the Sirens, Odysseus ordered his men to plug their ears with beeswax and to tie him to the ship’s mast so he could safely hear the beautiful song they sang for him which they passed through.  This delightful vessel is molded from fine Corinthian clay.

Height:   2.8 in (7 cm) 

Condition: Intact as shown in the photo. Self-standing. Quite attractive.    

Provenance: Formerly in the Van der Elst collection.

Reference:  See The Odyssey and Ancient Art by Diane Buitron, p. 112, no 34, for a similar aryballos.  Attributed to the Group of the Bonn Siren.

Background:  “First in your ship’s path are Sirens, who’s crying beauty seduces the minds of all who pass. Woe to the innocent’s ear that is touched by their song, not his lady nor children will crowd in joy at his return, the Sirens’ song shall steal his mind away.” Book XXII Homer’s Odyssey.  Click for a wonderful illustration of the scene on an Attic red-figure Greek vase. 

Price:  $1,700

Currently Available

SKU: 202.0110 Category: Tags: , , , , ,




Additional information

Weight 1 lbs
Dimensions 30 × 30 × 30 in