An Alabaster Head of a Male
Alabaster as a sculptural medium requires a different set of skill sets than both marble and terra cotta. Alabaster is a soft mineral and quite easy to work with, yet this softness has led many pieces from antiquity to degrade quite rapidly. Rarely does one find a piece that shows the mineral’s supple nature that is also as complete as this piece.
The figure’s smooth eyes, small pouty lips and ridged nose are arranged atop an oval face whose gender is not immediately discernable. The eyes are wide and flat, with little, if any, embellishment. The head’s brilliance comes out in the wonderful color of the alabaster as it gathers light and naturally brightens any room in any setting. This piece dates from approximately 100 BC – 100 Ad and is 14 cm in height.