Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Vase in the Shape of Mother Monkey with Her Young

Period:
Old Kingdom
Dynasty:
Dynasty 6
Reign:
reign of Merenre I
Date:
ca. 2255–2246 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt
Medium:
Travertine (Egyptian alabaster), paint, resin and pigment
Dimensions:
h. 18.6 cm (7 5/16 in); w. 6.5 cm (2 9/16 in); d. 7.6 cm (3 in)
Credit Line:
Theodore M. Davis Collection, Bequest of Theodore M. Davis, 1915
Accession Number:
30.8.134
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 103
Inscribed with the name of Merenre I, fourth king of Dynasty 6. This charming composition alludes to motherhood and fertility and also to the exotic lands that provided rare ingredients for the oils and unguents contained in these vases. The contents were presumably believed to have rejuvenating effects.
Inscriptions on this and similar vases (1992.338) suggest that the vessels were given by Sixth Dynasty kings to favored courtiers, particularly women, at the time of the king's jubilee.
#3265. Two Vases in the Shape of a Mother Monkey with her Young
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King of Upper and Lower Egypt Merenre, may he live forever
Formerly Theodore M. Davis Collection. Bequeathed to the Museum by Davis, 1915; accessioned, 1930.

Hayes, William C. 1953. Scepter of Egypt I: A Background for the Study of the Egyptian Antiquities in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Part I: From the Earliest Times to the End of the Middle Kingdom. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 128, fig. 78.

Dorman, Peter F., Prudence Harper, and Holly Pittman 1987. Egypt and the Ancient Near East in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 20, n.9.

Arnold, Dorothea 1995. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, new ser., vol. 52, no. 4 (Spring), New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 59, no. 80.

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