In Israel, as in other ancient nations, it was customary to dedicate persons or objects to sacred use by anointing them with oil. Thus Samuel anointed Saul king, as Moses had hallowed the tabernacle and Aaron the high priest before, and Abraham had sanctified Isaac. This simple yet charming vessel exudes an energy of the ages, glowing from within its surface, richly patinated by the fingerprints of history. Such a vessel would have been a necessity in the ancient world to contain and transport precious oils and unguents for ritual or daily usage. Although its original contents have long disappeared, the energy of those vanished lives is still contained within this vessel. This jug was once a vital, indispensable part of everyday life in the ancient world. Today, it is even more valuable to our modern lives, not as a container, but as a symbol of the past. This jug holds history inside, it reminds us of the lives, the joys and struggles, the triumphs and defeats, of those who came before us. Whose hands might have held it so long ago we can only guess, yet the connection is a direct one between our age and theirs.
The functional simplicity of this vessel lends it a timeless elegance that appeals to contemporary tastes as much as it surely did to ancient ones. Even after the passage of millennia, the design of such a vessel could hardly be improved upon. What did it once contain, we wonder, and who poured from its spout? Did those ancient people stop, as we do, to admire the grace of the vessel as they held it in their hands? We feel in its presence a direct bond with those long-forgotten individuals.