Help us bring life to art, and art to lives. Make a donation.

Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Vessel with a lid

ca. mid-1st millennium B.C.
Southwestern Arabia
Calcite alabaster
H. 2 1/16 in. (5.3 cm) Base: 2 13/16 in. (7.1 cm) Mouth: 1 in. (2.6 cm) Lid: 1 7/16 in. (3.6 cm)
Credit Line:
From The Collection of Nina and Gordon Bunshaft, Bequest of Nina Bunshaft, 1994
Accession Number:
1995.67.1a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 406
This beehive-shaped alabaster vessel is small and squat with a flat bottom and two pierced lug handles at the shoulder. Its lid has a pierced handle on top. This type of vessel was probably intended as a container that could be sealed by tying the handle on the lid to the lug handles on the vessel. Due to the weight of the stone and the skilled workmanship involved, it has been suggested that these vessels were made to hold a valuable commodity, perhaps a semi-solid ointment. They are found in southwestern Arabia in the last half of the first millennium B.C.
1967, purchased from the American-Israel Cultural Foundation by Gordon Bunshaft, New York; acquired by the Museum in 1994, bequest of Nina Bunshaft, New York.
Annual Report of the Trustees of The Metropolitan Museum of Art 125 (July 1, 1994 - June 30, 1995), p. 7.
Related Objects

Standing male figure

Date: ca. late 1st millennium B.C. Medium: Alabaster (gypsum) Accession: 1982.317.3 On view in:Gallery 406

Incense burner

Date: ca. mid-1st millennium B.C. Medium: Bronze Accession: 49.71.2 On view in:Gallery 406

Fragment of a grave stele

Date: ca. 1st century B.C. Medium: Alabaster (gypsum) Accession: 60.96 On view in:Gallery 406

Votive or funerary stele

Date: ca. late 1st millennium B.C. Medium: Alabaster (gypsum) Accession: 1982.317.2a, b On view in:Gallery 406

Head of a man

Date: ca. 3rd–4th century A.D. Medium: Alabaster (gypsum) Accession: 1982.317.1 On view in:Gallery 406