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Bottle in the Form of a Mother and Child

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: 19th Dynasty to Roman Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor

"Mother-and-child" bottles were made throughout the Eighteenth Dynasty. Their function is far from certain. One possible explanation is that they contained the milk of mothers who had recently delivered a male child. Medical texts frequently mention such milk as an effective remedy for a variety of ailments.

MEDIUM Steatite, glaze
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1336–1295 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY late Dynasty 18
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS Height: 4 7/16 in. (11.3 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Steatite figurine glazed light green of a woman seated wtih her legs folded under her and holding nude child in her lap. Headdress terminating in lotus-shaped tail. Single, long braid on let side of wig; cord around neck with large crescent-shaped amulet and beads on one side only. Figurine hollow with open, grooved base and circular opening at top. Condition: Figure of child broken and assembled with head and right side lost. Rim at top of woman's head lost. Pierced ear lopes are broken.
    CAPTION Bottle in the Form of a Mother and Child, ca. 1336–1295 B.C.E. Steatite, glaze, Height: 4 7/16 in. (11.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 61.9. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 61.9_threequarter_right_PS2.jpg)
    IMAGE threequarter, 61.9_threequarter_right_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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