Travertine (Egyptian alabaster), paint, resin and pigment
h. 18.6 cm (7 5/16 in); w. 6.5 cm (2 9/16 in); d. 7.6 cm (3 in)
Theodore M. Davis Collection, Bequest of Theodore M. Davis, 1915
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.
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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.