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Jar with Monkeys

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
Kohl Pots

The Egyptians stored kohl in squat containers usually made of stone.

A kohl pot’s specialized function required a certain shape: broad, low proportions that fit in the palm of the hand; an opening wide enough to allow the insertion of a finger or applicator; and a tight lid to protect the contents from dust, wind, and moisture. Although the shape remained consistent, craftsmen used different colored materials to achieve variety.
MEDIUM Anhydrite
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 2008–1759 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY late Dynasty 11 to Dynasty 12
    PERIOD Middle Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 1 1/4 × Diam. 7/8 in. (3.2 × 2.3 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Blue marble kohl jar. Body of unusual form, roughly circular with major portion flattened to form three sides which slope in sharply to small flat base. On the body, in very high relief, three monkeys grasping tail or hand of each other. Wide, cylindrical opening in body. Cover missing. Condition: Exterior surface badly worn and covered with crystalline deposit which obscures color of stone.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
    CAPTION Jar with Monkeys, ca. 2008–1759 B.C.E. Anhydrite, 1 1/4 × Diam. 7/8 in. (3.2 × 2.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 52.55. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.52.55_erg2.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, CUR.52.55_erg2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 11/26/2007
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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