Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Decorated Jug with Feline-Head Handle

Third Intermediate Period
Dynasty 21–22
ca. 1070–712 B.C.
From Egypt, Eastern Delta, Tell Basta (Bubastis), Temple of Bastet, ancient cacne
Diam. 12.9 × H. 15.9 cm (5 1/16 × 6 1/4 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1907
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 125
Wine services do not seem to have a long history in Egypt, but appear to have been introduced in the New Kingdom when wine-drinking became a feature of elite society in the Ramesside Period. Most if not all of the vessels in Tell Basta find belonged to just such a wine service associated presumably with a temple festival.

This pitcher was likely used to pour wine in celebration of a divinity – an Asiatic goddess to judge from other vessels belonging with this one. It is dedicated to the royal butler Atumemtaneb, who was also a royal envoy to all foreign lands. The decoration below the lip of the jug shows marsh scenes with cattle, horses, and goats nibbling trees; the base is embraced by petals; and the handle has a lioness-head at the join to the neck.
Discovered at Tell Basta during construction of the railway, 1906. Purchased by the Museum from Maurice Nahman, 1907.

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