Bronze Cleansing Set

Culture: Roman
Period: 1st-2nd century A.D.
Material: Bronze
Dimensions: 23 cm long (strigils); 10 cm high (aryballos)
Price: Sold
Ref: 3487
Provenance: Old German private collection, thence Antikenkabinett Gackstätter, Frankfurt, Germany. From there acquired by the French collection Gilles Grimm on 21 June 2010.
Condition: Strigils intact, aryballos with the exception of the missing chain links also intact.
Description: Two bronze strigils and a bronze aryballos form an extremely rare, completely preserved Roman cleansing set. In the aryballos oil was stored which was applied on the body. Afterwards both strigils were used to scrap off the oil from the skin. In ancient times soap was not known therefore this kind of body cleaning was very popular. Both strigils are very finely worked out, with rectangular handles and a scraper bent at right angles with lancet-shaped serrations on the outside. The aryballos with a compressed corpus, flat basis with concentric circles and a tongue pattern on the shoulder. Both vertical handles are worked out in form of dolphins and applied on the aryballos corpus. Bronze chains hang from the perforated dorsal fins of the dolphins, one of which is still intact, the other with only a few chain links. The aryballos was attached to the belt and carried using these bronze chains. The cylindrical neck with a central ridge, the spout still has the removable original lid, to which a bronze chain is also attached through an eyelet.