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Carved round box (pyxis) with Cupid releasing butterfly toward a second Cupid

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Cylinder shaped pyxis or small container, probably used for women's cosmetics. On the lid, head of a tragic female from the Roman theate. On the body, two Erotes: Eros on left releases a butterfly toward Eros on right, who falls back on a box-like pedestal or rock.


By date unknown: with Phoenix Gallery of Ancient Art, Box 1522, Westhampton Beach, New York 11978; purchased by MFA from Phoenix Gallery of Ancient Art, April 15, 1981

Credit Line

Bequest of Dora Pintner and Gift of Visitors to the Department of Classical Art

Roman, Imperial Period, probably 1st century A.D.

Place of Manufacture

possibly Egypt


Height: 5 cm (1 15/16 in.) diameter (lid): 3.7 cm max. diameter: 3.4 cm

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Domestic cow bone


The Ancient World