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Large Dish Depicting Fish

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

The dish displayed here was used to serve fish. Fish were important symbols to Romans, Christians, and Jews in the ancient world, and the act of eating fish could therefore take on a degree of symbolic significance. Jews ate fish at the beginning of the Sabbath in this period in anticipation of the meal to be served at the start of the Messianic Age, when the faithful would dine on the flesh of the sea monster Leviathan. And within the Christian tradition, in the earliest depictions of the Last Supper the main course was fish.
MEDIUM Clay, slip
DATES 6th century C.E.
PERIOD Late Antique Period
DIMENSIONS 4 3/4 x 18 11/16 in. (12 x 47.5 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE By exchange
PROVENANCE Archaeological provenance not yet documented; by 1934, acquired by Kirkor Minassian of Paris, France and New York, NY; February 6, 1934, purchased from Kirkor Minassian by the Brummer Gallery, New York, NY; December 5, 1942, purchased from the Brummer Gallery (N3166) by the Brooklyn Museum, by exchange.
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MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Coptic. Large Dish Depicting Fish, 6th century C.E. Clay, slip, 4 3/4 x 18 11/16 in. (12 x 47.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, By exchange, 42.408. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum (in collaboration with Index of Christian Art, Princeton University), CUR.42.408_ICA.jpg)
IMAGE overall, CUR.42.408_ICA.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph (in collaboration with Index of Christian Art, Princeton University), 2007
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