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Aryballos (Container for Oil) with Chain

A work made of glass, blown technique, and bronze.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of glass, blown technique, and bronze.


late 1st-2nd century


Roman; Nazareth (now Israel)

About this artwork

Vessels of this sort were used to hold cosmetic oil and were standard accessories for Roman bathing. The bronze chains looped around the user’s wrist. In the absence of soap, oil was rubbed onto the skin, and then scraped off with a strigil, an instrument with a curved, blunt blade.


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Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium


Ancient Roman


Aryballos (Container for Oil) with Chain


Syria (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

50 CE–150 CE


Glass, blown technique, and bronze


7.4 × 7.5 × 7.5 cm (2 7/8 × 3 × 3 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Theodore W. and Frances S. Robinson

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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