1. A receptacle, such as a carton, can, or jar, in which material is held or carried.
2. A large reusable receptacle that can accommodate smaller cartons or cases in a single shipment, designed for efficient handling of cargo.
So there is a lot of overlap, but it seems that the vessel, when used as a "container" refers more to something that holds liquid....
So, I had this idea to take photographs of many of the containers we have in the house filled with all manner of little things, but the camera batteries died, so at least I have this first one to show for my efforts. I would maintain that this this little bowl, made by my husband Johntimothy years ago, is a vessel, not just a container. It is totally filled with sharks teeth that we collected during summer sojourns to the beach at Topsail Beach, North Carolina, where my family would gather for a week summer after summer at this central location for those of us coming from various parts of the country. Sharks teeth galore! Many hours were spent, especially by Johntimothy, combing the sand for the color and shape that might indicate a shark's tooth. His eyes were more attuned to the hunt and he always collected vastly more than the rest of us combined. I have fond memories of those weeks...we watched my nieces and nephews grow up, as we saw them anew summer after summer. The sun and the sea, fine food, good conversation, the dictionary game, Scrabble, so many books to read between us all that we were afraid the "book police" would come and confiscate our loot.
Those sharks teeth aren't liquid, but that's really only part of what fills the little bowl...the memories of those summers flow freely into all the spaces between the teeth and fill it to the rim. You see, I had no idea what I would write when I began this post with that little bowl of sharks teeth...but the memories came flooding back and then they came pouring out...the bowl contains something liquid...it must be a vessel.