From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Wadi Gabbanat el-Qurud, Wadi D, Tomb of the 3 Foreign Wives of Thutmose III
Glassy faience, gold
h. 10.2 cm (4 in); diam. 7 cm (2 3/4 in)
Purchase, Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1926
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 118
This jar was probably imported from western Asia and may have been brought to Egypt by one of the foreign wives of Thutmose III as part of her dowry. The form, which has a button-shaped base now masked by gold leaf over plaster restoration, has a long history in Mesopotamia. Fragments of glassy faience vessels with a similar variegated pattern have been found at the site of Nuzi (modern Yorgan Tepe, Iraq), which flourished in the kingdom of Mitanni during the fifteenth and fourteenth centuries B.C. Glass making appears to have originated in Mesopotamia and been imported into Egypt early in Dynasty 18. Egyptian artisans had been making faience, a substance related to glass, for more than a thousand years and they quickly mastered the art of glassmaking as well.
Formerly Carnarvon Collection (purchased in Luxor before 1923). Purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art from Almina, Countess of Carnarvon, 1926.
2001. Ars Vitraria: Glass in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, new ser., vol. 59, no. 1 (Summer), New York, p. 12 (Christine Lilyquist)`.