Functional & Utilitarian

Showing 1–12 of 68 results

  • Ancient Biblical Holy Land Amphoriskos, Judea


    An amphora is Greek jar with a single or double handle made in a variety of sizes and copied by all ancient Mediterranean trading nations. This amphoriskos, literally a “small amphora,” has a stunning profile and one handle but is top heavy and cannot stand without support. It dates from the time of the Holy Land during the first Jewish Biblical Period in Judea circa the 8th to 6th century BCE.

  • Ancient Biblical Holy Land Burnished Juglet, Judea


    This small juglet has a globular body, a round base, a very short neck, a wide mouth and short handles on each side. Like other Second Temple Period (circa 597-300BCE) made pieces were functional wares covered with a black slip and burnished. Small juglets like this “…were finished to a higher quality and were used for cosmetics and scented oils [and perfumes and ointments].” (Frank) This piece is intact, in good condition and a genuine piece from ancient history. There are two chips on the mouth rim, body dents, and burnish losses, all expected for its age and longer than two millennia old burial.


    Tom Frank, “Imagining the Past: Archeology and the Bible: a juglet to anoint,” September, 2014.

  • Ancient Biblical Period Burnished Juglet, Judea


    This ancient pottery juglet was hand-made, has a globular body, a round base and a short neck flaring into a triangular mouth and its circular handle runs from its mouth to the shoulder. The body was covered with a black slip and burnished. Small utilitarian, functional items used during Biblical times were “…finished to a higher quality and… used for cosmetics and scented oils [i.e., perfumes}.” (Frank). This piece is in good condition, has expected dents, losses and adherents consistent with its age, and parts of the neck, mouth, rim and handle may have been damaged during burial and restored.

    Tom Frank, “Imagining the Past: Archeology and the Bible: a juglet to anoint,” (Sept 2014),

  • Ancient Carinated Flagon, Roman North Africa


    This Roman ceramic flagon with high vertical sides is a uniquely shaped vessel used to store and pour potable liquids. a crème slipped carinated jug with a high profile and a trefoil pouring spout, it has a strap handle attached from the carinated edge to just below the rim for easy handling. Expected age markers include minor scrapes, slip losses and a chip, earth and mineral adherants and white deposits underneath. Otherwise, it is in excellent condition for its burial and is without cracks, repairs or restorations.

  • Ancient Ceramic Snail Shaped Vessel, West Mexico, Jalisco


    This Protoclassic (circa 200BCE – 200CE) ceramic painted figurine of an ovoid snail was fashioned as a vessel with a wide large spout on top. Many early Jalisco ceramics were utilitarian and used for cooking, carrying water or storing seeds. The size and shape of this piece suggest it was made to hold liquids. Pieces like this were often decorated with applied painted designs that faded because they were not fired after painting. In contrast to the rest of Mesoamerica which had complex urban centers, areas of habitation in West Mexico were small, especially in the Colima Jalisco-Nayarit area. Because these areas had been abandoned for centuries, utilitarian objects like this were rarely found whole and required their fragments to be assembled and restored. This piece is in very good condition with cracks and paint losses and may have expected repairs at its spout.

  • Ancient Holy Land Biblical Period Perfume Juglet, Judea


    This pottery Judean juglet was made during the Biblical Period in the Holy Land and used to hold perfume or other costly items. Its upper body tapers inward to a narrow neck to limit its pouring rate and conserve its contents. Covered with slip to lessen leakage and improve their appearance, these were used throughout the Roman Empire.

  • Ancient Holy Land Biblical Period Wine Jug, Judea


    This very attractive Biblical Period terracotta wine jug is fairly rare because of its difficult chances of survival. Made in the Judea Holy Land, it has a tall globular body and a downward sloped shoulder ending together in a distinctive carinated edge running around its top. It rests on a low foot that adds to its visually striking profile.

  • Ancient Inca Ax Head, Indigenous Meso/South America


    This strong, thick, substantial yet relatively light T-shaped Inca copper alloy bronze ax has considerable wear on one side. Scholars describe these pieces as a classic weapon of the Inca Empire centered in Cuzco, Peru. Bronze ax heads were a very valuable and versatile tool. Their wide T-like top made them tight and durable when secured to a thick wooden handle and their strength and thickness also made them a very useful chopping and digging tool. This one has a fine patina and is very worn on one side attesting to its age and use. It has no restorations or repairs.

  • Ancient Terracotta Carinated Flagon with Handle, Roman North Africa


    Made in Roman North Africa, this carinated flagon has a low profile. Its shape often occurs in ancient cultures when the top and lower sections are angled in opposite directions to form an angled edge extending around the vessel. Used to store and pour potable liquids, it has a long neck, a flaring rim and a strap handle from its shoulder to the rim. In excellant condition for its age and long burial, it has no visible cracks, breaks, repairs or restoration with expected scrapes, slip losses and clinging mineral deposits.

  • Ancient Terracotta Jar, Roman North Africa


    Terracotta pottery jarlets from Roman North Africa were used as oil, perfume, ointment or cosmetic containers and are a mini version of a Greek wine jug (oenochoe). Not used for wine as it has no handle, its globular body fits well in the hand making it easy to grip. It stands on a low foot and has ribbing (grooved furrows) around its body. It survived intact, has no repairs and is otherwise in very good condition with expected losses, minor chips and some discoloration to the slip due to its age.

  • Ancient, Xenon Vessel, Magna Graecia, Italy


    This small 4th century BCE Xenon ware vessel container has a strap handle and its body is decorated with orange linear designs: a continuous painted geometric meander, a decorative band of tapering vertical lines and a thin line around the body below. There is some fading of the painted decoration and there are minor chips in the black glaze at the rim and elsewhere that reveal the red clay body. However, this piece is in very good condition given its age of more than two millennia and has no discernable repairs or restorations.

  • Antique Animal Shaped Wood Coconut Cutter, Thailand


    This antique coconut grater is a very practical multi-use creation designed to cut, grate, shave, husk and shred coconuts and large fruits and vegetables. Some were carved as crouching rabbits, but others like this were realistic renderings of small mammals. Its decorative appeal includes lovely 6-petal flowers above its four legs and elegantly curved and metal piece extending from its mouth. With its warm and rustic feel, it would be a unique decorative addition to any kitchen and an interesting conversational piece.

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