We present a new approach to achieve tangible object manipulation with a single, fully portable and self-contained device. Our solution is based on the concept of a “tangible volume”. We turn a tangible object into a handheld fish-tank display. The tangible volume represents a volume of space that can be freely manipulated within a virtual scene. This volume can be positioned onto virtual objects to directly grasp them, and to manipulate them in 3D space. We investigate this concept through two user studies. The first study evaluates the intuitiveness of using a tangible volume for grasping and manipulating virtual objects. The second study evaluates the effects of the limited field of view on spatial awareness. Finally, we present a generalization of this concept to other forms of interaction through the surface of the volume.