Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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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
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 303
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)
For Audio Guide tours and information, visit metmuseum.org/audioguide.
[ George Brauer, Paris]; J. Pierpont Morgan (American), London and New York
Weerth, Ernst Aus'm. Kunstdenkmäler des christlichen Mittelalters in den Rheinlanden: Part I, Bildnerei. Vol. 1. Leipzig: T. O. Weigel, 1857. p. 14 n. 3.

Weerth, Ernst Aus'm. "Kleiner Romanischer Weihwasserkessel aus Elfenbein in der Kirche zu Cranenburg." Bonner Jahrbücher 58 (1876). pp. 170–74, pl. IX.

Otte, Heinrich. Handbuch der kirchlichen Kunst-Archäologie des Deutschen Mittelalters, edited by Ernst Wernicke. Vol. 1. 5th ed. Leipzig: T. O. Weigel, 1883. p. 262, fig. 98.

Vöge, Wilhelm. Eine deutsche Malerschule um die Wende des I Jahrtausend. Trier: Friedrich Lintz Verlag, 1891. p. 268.

Clemen, Paul. Die Kunstdenkmäler des Kreises Kleve. Die Kunstdenkmäler der Rheinprovinz, Vol. 1, pt. 4. Düsseldorf: L. Schwann, 1892. pp. 130–31, fig. 77.

Kunsthistorische Ausstellung, Düsseldorf 1902: Illustrirter Katalog. Düsseldorf: August-Bagel-Verlag, 1902. no. 337, p. 43.

Creutz, Max. "Rheinische Goldschmiedeschulen des X und XI Jahrhunderts." Zeitschrift für Christliche Kunst 11, no. 7 (1908). p. 206–7.

Weerth, Ernst Aus'm. Fundgruben der Kunst und Ikonographie in den Elfenbein-Arbeiten des christlichen Altertums und Mittelalters in 35 Tafeln, edited by Fritz Witte. Bonn: Peter Hanstein Verlag, 1912. pp. 1–2, pl. X.

Goldschmidt, Adolph. Die Elfenbeinskulpturen aus der Zeit der Karolingischen und Sächsischen Kaiser, VIII.-XI. Jahrhundert. Vol. 1. Berlin: Bruno Cassirer, 1914. p. 72.

Goldschmidt, Adolph. Die Elfenbeinskulpturen aus der Zeit der karolingischen und sächisischen Kaiser, VIII.-XI. Jahrhundert. Vol. 2. Berlin: Bruno Cassirer, 1918. no. 71, p. 33, pl. XXIII.

Breck, Joseph. "Pre-Gothic Ivories in the Pierpont Morgan Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, o.s., 15, no. 1 (January 1920). p. 15.

Breck, Joseph, and Meyric R. Rogers. The Pierpont Morgan Wing: A Handbook. 1st ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1925. p. 48, fig. 25, ill. p. 47.

Longhurst, M. H. "Two Ivory Reliefs at South Kensington." The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs 46, no. 263 (February 1925). p. 93.

Breck, Joseph, and Meyric R. Rogers. The Pierpont Morgan Wing: A Handbook. 2nd ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1929. p. 48, fig. 25, ill. p. 47.

Braun, Joseph. Das christliche Altargerät in seinem Sein und in seiner Entwicklung. Munich: Max Hueber Verlag, 1932. p. 68.

Randall Jr., Richard H. "An Eleventh-Century Ivory Pectoral Cross." Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 25, nos. 3/4 (July–December 1962). p. 164.

Beeson, Nora B., ed. Guide to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1972. no. 26, p. 216, fig. 26.

Frazer, Margaret English. "Medieval Church Treasuries." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 43, no. 3 (Winter 1985-1986). p. 23.

Husband, Timothy B., and Charles T. Little. Europe in the Middle Ages. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. no. 39, pp. 46–47.

Tebartz, Achim. "Arbeitskreis Chronik." Beiträge zur Chronik Zyfflichs 4 (2002). pp. 9–10.

Galan y Galindo, Angel. Marfiles Medievales del Islam: Volume 1, Texto. Cordoba: Publicaciones Obra Social Y Cultural Cajasur, 2005. p. 69.

McLachlan Elizabeth Parker. "Liturgical Vessels and Implements." In The Liturgy of the Medieval Church, edited by Thomas J. Heffernan, and E. Ann Matter. Consortium for the Teaching of the Middle Ages. Kalamazoo, Michigan: Western Michigan University, 2005. pp. 415–16, fig. 14.

Schulz-Rehberg, Rose-Marie. Die Aachener Elfenbeinsitula : Ein liturgisches Gefäss im Spannungsfeld von Imperium und Sacerdotium eine Kunst-Kistorische Analyse. Münster: Monsenstein und Vannerdat, 2006. pp. 5, 89, 179, fig. 9.

Stein, Wendy A. How to Read Medieval Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2016. no. 4, pp. 16, 32–35.

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