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Jar with Was-Scepters and Ankhs

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
Vessels with Blue-Painted Designs

The most innovative pottery of the Eighteenth Dynasty—so-called bluepainted ware—began under Thutmose III.

The pastel pigment was made from groundup blue frit, a mixture of cobalt and alum. Initially, potters relied on blue paint to accentuate small details, such as the grape cluster hanging from a vine on the wine jar in this case. Over time, though, artists began to use blue paint for more complex designs and figures.
MEDIUM Clay, paint
  • Reportedly From: Samayna, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1426-1390 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 18
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 17 5/16 x 13 in. (44 x 33 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Evangeline Wilbour Blashfield, Theodora Wilbour, and Victor Wilbour honoring the wishes of their mother, Charlotte Beebe Wilbour, as a memorial to their father, Charles Edwin Wilbour
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Large reddish-buff pottery jar of approximately bi-conical shape with high cylindrical neck, elaborately decorated on upper half of body and neck in red, black and blue. Band of varied colors runs around the center of body. Upper part of body beautifully decorated with three large ankh symbols, two of which are flanked by Was Sceptres. Between each of these groups is an elaborate bunch of lotus flowers in red, black, and blue. Neck decorated with conventionalized lotus flowers between red, black and blue banding. Workmanship good; very similar specimens from Tell el-Amarna in Berlin. Possibly this specimen is the one referred to by Wilbour in his letter, as coming from Amarna. Condition: Large chip in rim; also body extensively chipped. Late in 1939 it was observed that the decorated surface of the jar was lifting from the body and beginning to flake off. In February 1940 the object was given several coats of cellulose acetate which seems to have remedied the fault. Surface now strong.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
    CAPTION Jar with Was-Scepters and Ankhs, ca. 1426-1390 B.C.E. Clay, paint, 17 5/16 x 13 in. (44 x 33 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Evangeline Wilbour Blashfield, Theodora Wilbour, and Victor Wilbour honoring the wishes of their mother, Charlotte Beebe Wilbour, as a memorial to their father, Charles Edwin Wilbour, 16.140. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.16.140_NegB_print_bw.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, CUR.16.140_NegB_print_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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