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Amphoriskos (Container for Oil)

A work made of glass.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of glass.


6th-5th century BCE


Ancient Mediterranean

About this artwork

Initially affordable only among the wealthy, glass was used in ancient Rome to create tableware and containers for oils and perfume. The word amphoriskos, Greek for “small amphora,” refers to this object’s shape, a miniature version of the two-handled vessels that contained oil or wine. In the ancient Mediterranean world, scented oils, usually olive oil based, were used rather than alcohol-based perfumes.


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Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium


Ancient Mediterranean


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.

600 BCE–401 BCE




5.7 × 2.9 × 2.5 cm (2 1/4 × 1 1/8 × 1 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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