According to Picón, et al. (Art of the Classical World in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 483), "In Hellenistic and Roman times, vessels made in semiprecious stone were much sought after as symbols of wealth and sophistication. Used as diplomatic gifts or treasured as heirlooms, many of them found their way into royal tombs or imperial collections, both in antiquity and later." The most common materials for such vessels were banded agate and rock crystal. Highly unusual here is the survival of the lid, made of opaque red glass and embellished with gold. For a gold lid with similar filigree ornament, see the example at the Allen Art Museum of Oberlin College, no. 28 in Bühler, Antike Gefässe aus Edelsteinen.