Two Vases in the Shape of a Mother Monkey with her Young

Old Kingdom

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 103

These charming vases are carved in the shape of mother monkeys each holding a baby clinging tightly to her chest. Alluding to motherhood and fertility, and also to the exotic lands that provided rare ingredients for the rejuvenating oils and unguents stored inside, they are inscribed with references to the kings' jubilee. It is likely that the vessels were given by 6th Dynasty kings to favored courtiers, particularly women.

See also 30.8.134 and 1992.338.

Two Vases in the Shape of a Mother Monkey with her Young, Travertine (Egyptian alabaster), paint, resin and pigment

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.

left 30.8.134; right 1992.338