Returned to lender The Met accepts temporary loans of art both for short-term exhibitions and for long-term display in its galleries.

Fish Dish

Middle Kingdom

Not on view

This object is not part of The Met collection. It was in the Museum for a special exhibition and has been returned to the lender.

The decoration on this hand-modeled dish, incised before firing, reflects the river environment of ancient Egypt. The central motif is a stylized tilapia or Nile perch; a large lotus blossom emerges from its mouth, surrounded by smaller flowers and buds. The tilapia and the lotus were symbols of rebirth. While various theories have been proposed to explain how fish dishes were used, a recent archaeological discovery suggests they were serving plates for religious or civic feasts.

Fish Dish, Pottery

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