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Situla (Bucket for Holy Water)

Date:
860–880
Geography:
Made in northern France
Culture:
Carolingian
Medium:
Ivory with gilded copper-alloy mounts and foil inlays
Dimensions:
Overall (with handle up): 8 5/16 x 6 1/16 x 5 1/8 in. (21.1 x 15.4 x 13 cm) Overall (with handle down): 6 3/16 x 6 1/16 x 5 1/8 in. (15.7 x 15.4 x 13 cm) Overall (vessel only): 5 3/4 x 5 1/16 in. (14.6 x 12.8 cm) diameter of foot: 3 1/8 in. (8 cm)
Classification:
Ivories
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.190.45
  • Description

    Buckets such as this were used for sprinkling holy water upon the faithful during processions. Ivory examples are exceptionally rare, and this one is the earliest to survive. An entire section of an elephant tusk, hollowed out, made it possible to decorate the surface of this bucket with scenes from the life of Jesus. On the lower register are depicted the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity, the Dream of Joseph, and the Baptism of Jesus. On the upper register are the Betrayal, the Flagellation, the Last Supper, the Ascension, the Holy Women at the Sepulchre, and the Crucifixion.

  • Provenance

    J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
464438:3

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