Cylindrical Pyxis

Unknown2800 - 2700 B.C.

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The simple, tapered form of this marble pyxis is common in pottery of the time but unparalleled in Cycladic stone vases. The carved rings encircling the body of the pyxis are typical of cylindrical stone pyxides. The spiral pattern on the bottom of the pyxis was a favorite motif on Cycladic vessels carved in softer stones, but this is the only instance of the motif in marble.

The pyxis originally had a lid, which would have fit over the flanged rim of the body. The two small lugs projecting from the body are pierced and would have held cords either for attaching the lid or for suspending the vessel. Traces of red pigment are preserved in the bottom of this pyxis. This is not unusual. Since these containers are found in burials, these traces may indicate that pigments were used in some way in the funeral rites.

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  • Title: Cylindrical Pyxis
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: 2800 - 2700 B.C.
  • Location Created: Cyclades, Greece
  • Physical Dimensions: 6.5 x 9.2 cm (2 9/16 x 3 5/8 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Marble
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California
  • Object Type: Pyxis
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 88.AA.83
  • Display Location: Currently on view at: Getty Villa, Gallery 217, Neolithic and Bronze Age Arts
  • Department: Antiquities
  • Culture: Cycladic
  • Classification: Vessels