|ROMAN ROCK CRYSTAL, HEXAGONAL, FACETED AMPHORISKOS
With two integrally carved standing rings for suspension. Rare and choice! Resurfaced.
1st Century AD
H. 2 1/2 in. (6.5 cm.)
Ex J.R. collection, Portugal, acquired in Spain in the 1980s.
Cf. Hans-Peter Bühler, Antike Gefässe aus Edelsteinen, Mainz, 1973, nos. 56 and 57.
Due to the limited sources of the material and the labor-intensive process of making them, rock crystal vessels were rare and expensive luxury items in the Roman world. The Romans believed that rock crystal was ice that had been hardened through intense freezing. Such a miraculous stone was believed to have the powers of an amulet and was highly valued.