Pilgrims who went to visit the Holy Land had the custom of bringing back these little vessels filled either with oil which had been used in lamps burning before important pilgrimage shrines or with holy water from the same sites. Due to their popularity, these ampullae were made as mass-produced souvenirs. They were cast in various metals, including silver, tin and lead, such as this quaint example. This small ampulla is related to the worship of the loca sancta of Palestine.
Roman Holy Land Amphora Shaped Ampulla
A Holy Land lead amphora-shaped votive ampulla, featuring a pointed base, a single angled handle and cylindrical neck leading to a rounded rim. The small vessel features a geometrical decoration in relief, possibly including some inscriptions in Ancient Greek.
Condition: Very fine, grey patination all across with some earthen deposits.