Terracotta perfume flask (askos) in the form of a lion

Etruscan, 340-300 BC
Probably found in the Francois Tomb, Vulci (ancient Etruria), Lazio, Italy

A ferocious scent

This exquisite terracotta perfume bottle in the shape of a lion was probably made at Chiusi, an important city in northern Etruria, where animal-shaped perfume containers were popular in the fourth century BC. This type of ornate container was produced predominantly at Chiusi and belongs to a class of Etruscan pottery of the fourth and third centuries BC which includes vases in the shape of human heads as well as more conventional pottery-shapes. The group is known as the Clusium Group - Clusium is the Roman name for Chiusi.

With their elaborate form and sometimes additional decoration in gold, these objects were clearly made for a wealthy clientele.

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More information


M. Harari, Il gruppo Clusium della ceramo (Rome, 1980)

O. Brendel, Etruscan art, Pelican History of Art (Yale University Press, 1995)

E. Macnamara, The Etruscans-1 (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)

L. Burn, The British Museum book of G-1, revised edition (London, The British Museum Press, 1999)


Height: 15.300 cm
Length: 17.700 cm

Museum number

GR 1873.8-20.269 (Vases E 803)


Castellani Collection


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