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Amphoriskos (Container for Oil)

A work made of glass, core-formed technique.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of glass, core-formed technique.


5th-7th century



About this artwork

Initially affordable only among the wealthy, glass was used in ancient Rome as containers for oils, perfume, and tablewares. The word “amphoriskos”, Greek for “small amphora”, refers to this object’s shape, a miniature version of the two-handled metal or ceramic vessels that contained oil or wine. Core-formed glass was made by dipping a removable core that gives the vessel its shape into a molten glass mixture. The technical achievements and prestige of glass continued through the Byzantine period.


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Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium




Amphoriskos (Container for Oil)


Mediterranean Region (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.

400 CE–600 CE


Glass, core-formed technique


5.1 × 4.4 × 4.4 cm (2 × 1 3/4 × 1 3/4 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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