Alabastrons are a type of vessel used in antiquity for holding oils and unguents. They are typically made of terra cotta or glass, with narrow bodies and widened mouths for easy storage and application of the contents within. The warm glow of this piece is an effect of the alabaster itself, from which this piece takes its name.
The natural patterns of the alabaster lend a gorgeous decoration to the soft exterior of this elegant vessel. This piece dates from the Persian period of ancient Egypt of approximately 600 B.C.E. – 400 B.C.E., when Egypt was ruled by a succession of Persian emperors whose military campaigns extended the borders of ancient Persia to Anatolia and Egypt.