Rod with Amphora Terminal

Object Name: 
Rod with Amphora Terminal

What is AAT?

The Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) (r) is a structured vocabulary for generic concepts related to art and architecture. It was developed by The Getty Research Institute to help research institutions become consistent in the terminology they use.Learn More

Object Name: 
Rod with Amphora Terminal
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
Overall L (max): 26.9 cm; Terminal W: 2.7 cm
Not on Display
Web Description: 
Stirring rods consist of canes that vary in length from about 10 to 26 centimeters. Frequently, these canes are spirally twisted. The lower end is usually flattened to form a disk with a diameter slightly greater than the diameter of the rod itself. The upper end may terminate in a similar disk, a loop, a ring, or an object such as an amphora (as on this object) or a bird. The function of these rods is uncertain. As the name implies, most students of Roman glass assume that they were used for mixing small quantities of cosmetic or medicinal preparations, a conclusion supported by their frequent association with toilet bottles in graves, usually of women. On the other hand, Welker suggested that they represent bobbins or spindles and refer to one of the domestic activities of the deceased; and others thought that they are hairpins. Similar rods, but presumably with plain terminals, were used in architectural decoration. Glass stirring rods have been found in all parts of the Roman Empire. Examples from datable contexts seem to be mainly (perhaps exclusively) of the first and second centuries A.D.
Smith, Ray Winfield, Source
Primary Description: 
Transparent pale green glass; tooled, blown and trailed attachment. Cylindrical rod twisted to produce fluting which spirals downward from left to right with four tightly twisted areas alternating with three loosely twisted areas; top of rod terminates in horizontal disc, above which there is a miniature vessel with rounded rim, tapering neck, pear-shaped body decorated with spiral trail originating on lower part of neck, and two handles attached to upper part of body and mid-point of neck; bottom of rod has been bent into heart-shaped loop with pinched projections at lowest point and point of attachment.
The Fragrant Past: Perfumes of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar
Emory University Museum of Art and Archaeology 1989-04-05 through 1989-06-25
Roman Glass in The Corning Museum of Glass, Volume Three (2003) illustrated, pp. 52, 216, #971; BIB# 58895
The Fragrant Past (1989) #5; BIB# 24733