Middle Kingdom high officials possessed a variety of luxury goods that were used in life but were also appropriate for a tomb. The box belonged to the royal butler Kemeni, who is depicted on one end making offerings to the deified king Amenemhat IV. It originally contained eight jars, likely filled with sacred oils used in funerary rituals. An official named Reniseneb owned the mirror, which had solar and afterlife symbolism.
Excavated by Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon, 1910; acquired by Lord Carnarvon in the division of finds. Carnarvon Collection purchased by the Museum from Lady Carnarvon, 1926.
Carnarvon, 5th Earl of and Howard Carter 1912. Five Years' Explorations at Thebes. pp. 55-56, pl. XLVIII-XLIX.
Lythgoe, Albert M. 1927. "The Carnarvon Egyptian Collection." In The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, vol. 22, no. 2 (February), p. 32 (photo).
Scott, Nora E. 1944. Home Life of the Ancient Egyptians: A Picture Book. New York: Plantin Press, fig. 13.
Hayes, William C. 1953. Scepter of Egypt I: A Background for the Study of the Egyptian Antiquities in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: From the Earliest Times to the End of the Middle Kingdom. Cambridge, Mass.: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p.245, 246, fig. 157.
Roehrig, Catharine H. 2015. "Box with Vessels and Mirror." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 141–42, no. 75A, B.
Grajetzki, Wolfram 2015. "The Pharaoh's Subjects: Court and Provinces." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 121.