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Miniature Two-handled Jar (amphoriskos)

Artist Culture
Greek, Eastern Mediterranean
Hellenistic, 323–31 BC
mid-2nd century BC–early 1st century AD
Associated with
Levant, Asia
Possibly associated with
Cyprus, Asia
Containers, glassware
Current Location
On View, Gallery 259
5 3/16 x 1 13/16 in. (13.2 x 4.6 cm)
Credit Line
Museum Purchase
Public Domain
Object Number
Despite the beauty of this container, it was the contents inside that were truly valuable. Luxurious oils and sweet-smelling unguents were coveted and used by both men and women. The ancient Greeks even used olive oil as a soap by spreading it on their skin and scraping it off with a metal tool called a strigil.

Note the similarities in shape between this perfume bottle and amphoras used for storing wine. The miniature two-handled jars in this case are called amphoriskoi or “little amphoras.”
- 1921
Persian Antique Gallery (R. Kahn Monif), New York, NY, USA

1921 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Persian Antique Gallery [1]

[1] Invoice from Persian Antique Gallery to the City Art Museum, dated August 5, 1921. 77:1921 is item No. 2065 in the invoice, and it was part of the "Collection of Roman, Phoenician, Egyptian, and Arabic Glass" [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, July 8, 1921.
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