The pyxis (plural pyxides) is a rather small, lidded vase characteristic of ancient Greece. The term ‘pyxis’ translates to English as ‘box, the original functioning as such. The name derives from wooden Corinthian boxes carved from the tree puksos (meaning boxwood). Pyxides would eventually evolve to also be made out of clay as well as bronze. The rounded shape of the box can be traced back to pottery hailing from the Athenian Protogeometric period in Athens. However, these Athenian pyxides hold much more variety in shape than their Corinthian couterparts.
Pyxides were utilized as containers for perfumes, cosmetics, powdered goods, and jewelry. Pieces from the 5th Century B.C. commonly display scenes of a bride’s procession to the home of her new husband. Later-century pyxides were built more basically, the lavish illustrations of their predecessors being scrapped in favor of a simpler, non-decorative style.