Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Spindle Bottle with Handle

New Kingdom, Amarna Period
Dynasty 18
reign of Akhenaten
ca. 1353–1336 B.C.
From Egypt; Said to be from Middle Egypt, Tuna el-Gebel
H. 17.5 cm (6 7/8 in)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1926
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 121
Egyptian glass vessels were often modeled after vessels originally made in other materials. This slender flask of turquoise glass was copied from an imported pottery "spindle bottle" of the type that Syrians are depicted carrying in contemporary Egyptian tomb paintings, actual examples of which would most likely have contained some sort of resin. The flask was core-formed and finished by hand, with the strap handle applied separately. The elongated, ovoid body and slender neck were decorated with finely executed zigzags of dark blue and white glass. The handle is embellished with repeating bands of dark blue, yellow, and white. Glass objects were first imported into Egypt from the Near East in the joint reign of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III. Egyptian craftsmen, who had more than a millennium of experience manufacturing the related substance faience, quickly added the art of glass making to their repertoire.
Purchased by Lord Carnarvon (d. 1923) in Cairo. Carnarvon Collection until 1926. Purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art from Almina, Countess of Carnarvon, 1926.

Lythgoe, Albert M. 1927. "The Carnarvon Egyptian Collection." In The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, vol. 22, no. 2 (February), p. 36 (photo).

Capart, Jean 1927. Documents pour servir a l'étude de l'art égyptien. Paris: Les Éditions du Pégase, pp. 75-76, pl. 80D.

Scott, Nora E. 1944. Home Life of the Ancient Egyptians: A Picture Book. New York: Plantin Press, fig. 16.

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