Skip Navigation

Jar with Floral Collar in Relief

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Stone Vessels in the New Kingdom

Because stone vessels are more durable than pottery, Egyptians often made them to be left in tombs as funerary gifts meant to last for eternity.

In the New Kingdom, most stone vessels were made of Egyptian alabaster, a soft white to yellowish-white material that geologists call calcite. Calcite was mined in the Sinai Peninsula and in the eastern desert stretching from Cairo to Luxor. Stones such as basalt, quartz crystal, obsidian, porphyry, schist, steatite, and serpentine were reserved for luxury items.

The exotic forms of foreign stone vessels appealed to New Kingdom craftsmen. Two examples seen here—the amphora with two handles and the footed dish, or tazza —were inspired by Syrian models. Also, the jar with the high cylindrical neck reproduces a Cypriot pottery type known as base-ring ware. Decoration tended to rely on traditional Egyptian patterns. For example, painted or incised floral garlands appear on many stone vessels made in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Dynasties. This design alludes to the Egyptian funerary practice of draping collars of flowers around pottery vessels.

To make a vessel, a carver first chiseled a block of stone into a general shape, then slowly rotated it on a wheel while polishing the exterior with an abrasive such as sand or emery. Finally, he hollowed out the interior using a drill with a metal or hard stone bit.
MEDIUM Egyptian alabaster (calcite)
  • Possible Place Made: Saqqara, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1292–1190 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 19
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 11 1/4 × 9 13/16 × 11 1/8 in. (28.5 × 25 × 28.3 cm) mount (m2): 11 1/2 × 11 × 10 in. (29.2 × 27.9 × 25.4 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Large banded alabaster jar with two vertical stirrup handles; carved and ornamented with necklace and pendant of floral design-necklace, as well as exterior rim, decorated with checkerboard pattern. Under the left handle are the hieroglyphical numerals for nineteen denoting that it contains nineteen measures of that period.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Jar with Floral Collar in Relief, ca. 1292–1190 B.C.E. Egyptian alabaster (calcite), 11 1/4 × 9 13/16 × 11 1/8 in. (28.5 × 25 × 28.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.386E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.386E_overall_PS22.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 37.386E_overall_PS22.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2024
    "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
    You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.