Chalice fragment

Lower half of a faience chalice decorated in low relief. The glaze is dark blue and the piece has been repaired and patched. The stem of the chalice is missing, as is the top of the cup section and rim. The cup of the chalice echos the shape of an open lotus flower. The decoration on the outer surface is in low relief divided into three registers. In the lowest register is a running frieze of floral elements including lotus petals and papyrus umbrellas. The middle register consists of five birds in a papyrus marsh. Two of the birds are either ducks or geese which are landing with their feet stretched forward and their wings back. The other three birds look like herons, one of which is bent over looking for food. Only the lower half of the top register remains, and this depicts a marsh hunt. There are two reed boats and each boat has three men in it. In one boat a man holds two dead birds by the wings, letting the heads of the birds hang down together. A calf kneels in the other boat. Each boat has a man pushing it along with a pole and we can assume that at least one man in each boat is posed with a spear or bow and arrow for the hunt.

Historical period(s)
Dynasty 21, Early Third Intermediate Period, 1075-945 B.C.E
Medium
Faience (glazed composition)
Dimensions
H x Diam: 7.9 × 5.6 cm (3 1/8 × 2 3/16 in)
Geography
Egypt
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1907.10
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Faience, Vessel
Type

Chalice

Keywords
Egypt, flower, goose, Hathor, hunting, lotus, man, Tanite Dynasty 21 (ca. 1075 - 945 BCE), Third Intermediate Period (ca. 1075 - 656 BCE)
Provenance

To 1907
Unidentified owner, Egypt, to 1907 [1]

From 1907 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased in Egypt from an unidentified owner in 1907 [2]
From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]

Notes:

[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 1596, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919

Description

Lower half of a faience chalice decorated in low relief. The glaze is dark blue and the piece has been repaired and patched. The stem of the chalice is missing, as is the top of the cup section and rim. The cup of the chalice echos the shape of an open lotus flower. The decoration on the outer surface is in low relief divided into three registers. In the lowest register is a running frieze of floral elements including lotus petals and papyrus umbrellas. The middle register consists of five birds in a papyrus marsh. Two of the birds are either ducks or geese which are landing with their feet stretched forward and their wings back. The other three birds look like herons, one of which is bent over looking for food. Only the lower half of the top register remains, and this depicts a marsh hunt. There are two reed boats and each boat has three men in it. In one boat a man holds two dead birds by the wings, letting the heads of the birds hang down together. A calf kneels in the other boat. Each boat has a man pushing it along with a pole and we can assume that at least one man in each boat is posed with a spear or bow and arrow for the hunt.

Published References
  • Ann C. Gunter. A Collector's Journey: Charles Lang Freer and Egypt. Washington and London, 2002. p. 130, fig. 5.6.
Collection Area(s)
Ancient Egyptian Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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