Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Pilgrim Flask with Saint Menas

Object Name:
Pilgrim flask
4th–7th century
Probably made in Egypt, Abu Mena
Earthenware; unglazed
3 7/8 x 2 5/8 in. (9.8 x 6.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Museum Accession
Accession Number:
Not on view
Ampullae like this one were used by pilgrims to bring home water or oil from the great pilgrimage site for Saint Menas, said to be a late-third-century Egyptian Roman soldier who was martyred for his Christian faith. He is shown between the two camels who returned his body to Egypt for burial.
Unknownprovenance; acquired by the Metropolitan Museum by 1937
Dalton, O. M. Catalogue of Early Christian Antiquities and Objects from the Christian East. British Museum, London: British Museum Publications, Ltd., 1901. p. 154, ill. pl. XXXII.

Strzygowski, Josef. "Koptische Kunst." In Catalogue Generale du Musee du Caire. vol. 12. Vienna, 1904. no. 8969, pl. XXI.

Wulff, Oskar. Altchristliche und Mittlealterliche Byzantinische und Italienische Bildwerke. vol. III, part 1. Belin, 1909. no. 1359ff, ill. pl. LXVIII.

Kaufmann, Carl Maria Dr. "Ausgrabungen der Frankfürter Expedition am Karm Abu Mina 1905–1907." In Die Menasstadt und das National Heiligtum der Altchristlichen Ægypter in der Westalexandrinischen Wüste. vol. I. Leipzig, 1910. pp. 93-95.

Related Objects

Ampulla (Flask) of Saint Menas

Date: late 6th century–mid 8th century Medium: Earthenware; molded Accession: 27.94.27 On view in:Gallery 302

Ampulla (Flask) with Saint Menas

Date: late 6th–mid-8th century Medium: Earthenware; molded Accession: 27.94.19 On view in:Not on view

Bowl with Eagle

Date: ca. 1000 Medium: Earthenware; luster-painted on opaque white glaze Accession: 63.178.1 On view in:Gallery 454

Capital with Acanthus Leaves

Date: 4th century Medium: Marble Accession: 08.201.3 On view in:Gallery 301

Bowl Depicting a Running Hare

Date: first quarter 11th century Medium: Earthenware; luster-painted on opaque white glaze Accession: 64.261 On view in:Gallery 451