Covered unguent bowl with tall foot (exaleiptron)

Classical Period
450–425 B.C.

Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica (probably)


Overall: 26.5 x 16.2 cm (10 7/16 x 6 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Marble, possibly from the Greek island of Paros

On View

Gallery 212A-B


The Ancient World



A rare example (only 10 or so known) of the exaleiptron shape of vase, the name derives from the Greek word meaning “to anoint.” Also called plemochoe or kothon, used to contain perfumed oil as part of an elite woman’s toilet and used also as a grave offering. The sharply inward-curving lip of the vessel held in the precious fluid and prevented it from spilling.

Stem, body, shoulder and lid were lightly painted.

(a) Three pieces joined (base, stem, and bowl). Plastic rings on base. Rim broken.
(b) Lower section of cover, flat, incised ring.
(c) Upper section of cover with knob


By date unknown: Henry P. Kidder Collection; gift of Henry P. Kidder to MFA, December 30, 1881

Credit Line

Gift of Henry P. Kidder