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Cosmetic Container in Form of Recumbent Gazelle

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
Cosmetic Dishes

Like spoons, cosmetic dishes may have been used for mixing ointments in the home, or for ritual purposes in a temple, or both.


Many of the dishes have images that seem to refer to beliefs about life after death. Both the lotus and the fish, for example, were associated with rebirth. Other subjects, such as the oryx (a type of antelope), may allude to the desire to maintain universal order. Because the oryx lived in the mysterious desert—beyond the ordered realm of Egyptian civilization—a bound oryx represented victory over chaos.
MEDIUM Wood, ivory
  • Place Made: Africa
  • DATES ca. 1539-1292 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY XVIII Dynasty
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 2 9/16 x 2 1/2 x 7 11/16 in. (6.5 x 6.4 x 19.5 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 37.601E
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Cosmetic Container in Form of Recumbent Gazelle, ca. 1539-1292 B.C.E. Wood, ivory, 2 9/16 x 2 1/2 x 7 11/16 in. (6.5 x 6.4 x 19.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.601E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.37.601E_erg456.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, CUR.37.601E_erg456.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 7/16/2007
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