Situla (Bucket for Holy Water)


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 304

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.

#2950. Situla (Bucket for Holy Water)

Situla (Bucket for Holy Water), Elephant ivory with gilded copper-alloy mounts and foil inlays, Carolingian

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.

Last Supper (above); Nativity (below)