An exceptional Ancient Roman bronze lidded amphoriskos featuring a baluster-shaped body with short neck and collared rim. The vessel stands on a slightly splayed tubular foot; underneath, a concave base features a decoration of concentric rings and a central knob. Two twin handles with palmette finials rise from the shoulders and attach to the rim. A suspension loop features at the top of each handle with a linked chain rising to two central attachment rings. A third suspension chain is attached to the same rings and holds the lid, decorated with circular grooves and raised bands. Beautiful green, blue and brown patination is visible on the surface. A few minor dents to the body.
Date: Circa 2nd-3rd Century AD Provenance: Formerly in a Swiss collection, 1970s. Condition: Very fine condition, a few minor dents to the body. Some earthly encrustations.
During the Roman period, vessels were made in great quantity and manufactured in diverse materials, including glass, pottery, stone and metal. Metal-based vessels were usually manufactured from copper alloys, widely available in the ancient Mediterranean. The properties of bronze allowed vessels to be manufactured by either casting or hammering, thus enabling a relatively fast production. Amphoriskoi were delicate flasks used primarily to store oil and expensive perfume. Normally produced in glass, these vessels are occasionally found in bronze.