The J. Paul Getty Museum

Blue Pitcher with Knobbed Decoration

Object Details


Blue Pitcher with Knobbed Decoration






Etruria (perhaps), Italy (Place Created)


700–600 B.C.



Object Number:



8.8 × 4.4 × 4.2 cm (3 7/16 × 1 3/4 × 1 5/8 in.)

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Object Description

A miniature blue glass oinochoe has a trefoil mouth, vertical handle, and a narrow neck with a ring. The surface of the globular body has a series of projecting knobs of glass, giving it a spiky appearance (hence the name "hedgehog" or "hirsute" oinochoe); the foot made by a spiraling thread.

Distinctive for its spiky surface, this perfume flask was created in an Etruscan workshop that specialized in transforming ingots of glass imported from the Near East into vessels, beads, and jewelry inlays. Made to hold perfume in the form of scented oil, diminutive containers of blue or yellow glass are found in elite burials at the sites of Cerveteri, Orvieto, Chiusi and other early Etruscan sites.

by 1973 - 1988

Erwin Oppenländer, 1901 - 1988 (Waiblingen, Germany), by inheritance to his son, Gert Oppenländer, 1988.

1988 - 2003

Gert Oppenländer (Waiblingen, Germany), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003.

Molten Color: Glassmaking in Antiquity (November 9, 2005 to July 24, 2006)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa (Malibu), November 9, 2005 to August 6, 2006
Molten Color: Glassmaking in Antiquity (January 11 to April 23, 2007)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa (Malibu), January 11 to April 23, 2007
Molten Color: Glassmaking in Antiquity (October 8, 2009 to February 22, 2010)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa (Malibu), October 8, 2009 to February 22, 2010

Gawain McKinley, Ltd. Ancient Glass and Glazed Wares (London: n.p., 1972), p. 2, upper left, ill.

"Recent Important Acquisitions Made by Public and Private Collections in the United States and Abroad." Journal of Glass Studies 15 (1973), p. 187, no. 2, ill.

Saldern, Axel von, et al. Gläser der Antike: Sammlung Erwin Oppenländer, exh. cat. (Hamburg: Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, 1974), pp. 54, no. 115; pp. 52, plate no. 115.

Harden, D. B. Catalogue of Greek and Roman Glass in the British Museum. Vol. 1. Core- and Rod-formed Vessels and Pendants and Mycenaean Cast Objects (London: British Museum Publications, 1981), p. 170, no. 113e.

Carandini, Andrea. La romanizzazione dell'Etruria: il territorio di Vulci, exh. cat. (Milan: Electa, 1985), p. 188, fig. 227.

Martelli, Marina. "Sulla produzione di vetri orientalizzanti." In Tyrrhenoi Philotechnoi: Atti della Giornata di studio (Viterbo, 13 ottobre 1990). Martelli, Marina, ed. (Rome: Gruppo Editoriale Internazionale, 1994), p. 97, nos. 44-45.

Saldern, Axel von. Antikes Glas (München: Beck, 2004), p. 88, no. 3.