This large and impressive vase was carved in Italy in c.1900 from a veined grey alabaster. The vase is shaped like stylised loutrophoros-amphora vessel with an ovoid body and elongated neck, fitted with two handles.
The vase has a wide, open mouth which are edged with large, carved leaves. The top of its neck is smooth, while the lower part is carved with a collar of flowers. The two handles have been fitted onto the shoulders of the piece. These take the form of dragons with curling tongues extending from open mouths, curved necks and scrolling tails. Below, the body of the vase is fluted, on its top and bottom, and its middle is encircled by a band of foliage, interspersed with grotesque masks. The vase’s body stands on a socle with a leafy top, smooth centre, and circular stepped base.
The vase is placed on a pedestal-stand which has also been crafted from alabaster. This columnar support has a smooth capital, foliate neck, fluted body and a simple shaped base. The column stands on a short octagonal plinth.
This vase is an exquisite sculptural work which has been crafted in great detail and on a magnificent scale. Its beauty is found in its bold outline and the natural patterns created by the veins of the alabaster, together with the applied ornament created by the highly-skilled artisan.