Perfume bottle in the shape of a goose

Photogallery

Perfume bottle in the shape of a goose
Perfume bottle in the shape of a goose
Rooms XVII and XVIII. Collection of Vases

This small container for perfume has the shape of a water bird, with its neck turned backwards in a sleeping position. Above the head there is an opening for filling the container, decorated with lance-shaped leaves. The wings are covered with glossy black paint, with shaded streaks and rows of small white dots. There is red underpainting on the tail. A fan of small lines of black paint simulates the plumage on the underbelly. The head is separated from the neck with a row of small dots, and the same motif is used to outline a circular area around the eye. This latter detail – which in reality would correspond to a dark area of plumage – enables the species depicted to be precisely identified as an Egyptian goose (Alopochen Ægyptiacus).
The perfume bottle is a rare and refined example of Greek-Oriental vase modelling, from the island of Rhodes.