Banded agate amphoriskos (perfume bottle)

Period: Early Imperial, Augustan or early Julio-Claudian

Date: late 1st century B.C.–early 1st century A.D.

Culture: Roman

Medium: Banded agate

Dimensions: H. 2 3/8 in. (6.0 cm)
diameter 1 7/8 in. (4.8 cm)

Classification: Miscellaneous-Stone Vases

Credit Line: Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Sid R. Bass Gift, in honor of Annette de la Renta, and Rogers Fund, 2001

Accession Number: 2001.253


In Hellenistic and Roman times, vessels made in semiprecious stone were much sought after as symbols of wealth and sophistication. They were used as diplomatic gifts or treasured as heirlooms, and many of them found their way into royal tombs or imperial collections, both in antiquity and later. Their rarity also encouraged imitations in both glass and pottery.