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

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)
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[ George Brauer, Paris]; J. Pierpont Morgan (American), London and New York
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