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Spoon with Lotus Handle

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art


Elaborate burials often included offerings of spoons with decorated bowls and handles, though their purpose is uncertain.

Early Egyptologists proposed that the spoons were used to remove solid ointments from wide-necked jars. Although many scholars still favor this traditional interpretation, others believe the spoons were cultic objects used in religious ceremonies. They probably served both functions: spoons decorated with images of birth-gods seem appropriate for domestic use; those with symbols of rebirth, such as the lotus, were probably intended for rituals.
DATES ca. 1539–1292 B.C.E.
DYNASTY Dynasty 18
PERIOD New Kingdom
DIMENSIONS 4 11/16 x Diam. 2 3/8 in. (11.9 x 6 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Small wooden toilet spoon with round bowl and small handle in form of lotus. Condition: Spoon appears to have been assembled from two pieces. Small fragment on rim may be restoration. Mediocre workmanship, handle chipped.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Spoon with Lotus Handle, ca. 1539–1292 B.C.E. Wood, 4 11/16 x Diam. 2 3/8 in. (11.9 x 6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 05.314. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.05.314_erg456.jpg)
IMAGE overall, CUR.05.314_erg456.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 9/6/2007
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