The Rubens vase is a late Antique or early Byzantine carving of a solid piece of agate in the shape of a vase, named after the later owner, Peter Paul Rubens (1619 to 1626), who made a pen drawing from it in Flanders, now preserved in the Hermitage. It is believed to have been commissioned by a Byzantine emperor, perhaps around 400 A.D., and made in Constantinople. That it appeared in Europe (particularly in France) after the sacking of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade may indicate that it was the result of looting. Having passed through the collections of the Dukes of Anjou, Charles V, Peter Paul Rubens, and the Mughal emperor Jahangir, it was acquired by Henry Walters.
It is oval in shape, measuring 7 5/16 inches high, 7 5/16 inches wide, and 4 3/4 inches deep (18.6 x 18.5 x 12 cm).