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Ointment Flask which Has Papyrus Plants Upon It

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

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

Vessels such as this contained small amounts of oil or perfume used for cosmetic purposes. The primary decoration—papyrus plants rising from a lotus flower—may allude to the creation of the universe. According to one account of creation, the lotus was the first thing to emerge from the primordial waters of chaos at the dawn of time. The papyrus was the heraldic plant of Lower, or northern, Egypt.

MEDIUM Faience, painted
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1336-1250 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY late XVIII Dynasty-early XIX Dynasty
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 5 5/16 in. (13.5 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Ointment Flask which Has Papyrus Plants Upon It, ca. 1336-1250 B.C.E. Faience, painted, 5 5/16 in. (13.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 75.52.1. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE installation, West Wing gallery 8 installation, CUR.75.52.1_wwg8.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
    "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.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION One pale green alabastron with papyrus painted upon it in black. The base of the vessel is decorated with an open lotus (?). Condition: Abraided and discolored; rim chipped.
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    Ointment Flask which Has Papyrus Plants Upon It