Mar 26, 2007

Pomegranate Vase

Pomegranate Vase

1479-1425 BC

Blue vitreous faience

Diameter: 5.4 cm (2 1/8 in.); Diameter of mouth: 1 cm (3/8 in.); Overall: 6.9 cm (2 11/16 in.)

Gift of the John Huntington Art and Polytechnic Trust 1914.612

Location

Did you know?

The small size of the flask, together with its narrow opening, suggests that it originally contained a small amount of precious liquid, perhaps an ancient perfume or an offering of pomegranate wine.

Description

This small, round-bottomed flask takes the shape of a pomegranate. The serrated petals or calyxes that trim the top mimic the turned-back outer husk that is characteristic of this fruit. The flask's aperture is small. Not native to Egypt, the pomegranate (Punica granatum) was introduced from western Asia or Cyprus in the first half of Dynasty 18, probably between the reigns of Amenhotep I and Tuthmosis III. The fruit's novelty, as well as its shape, most likely accounts for its tremendous popularity as a deluxe vessel form at this time. Perhaps best known in Egypt and abroad in the materials of faience and glass, the type also occurs in metal, wood, and stone.

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