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Ointment Vessel

A work made of travertine (egyptian alabaster).
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of travertine (egyptian alabaster).


New Kingdom, Dynasty 18 (about 1550-1295 BCE)



About this artwork

Perfumes and fragrant ointments for soothing the skin were an important part of beauty routines in Egypt’s hot, dry climate. Like the sometimes costly cosmetics they were designed to contain, these elegant vessels were desirable luxury goods, made in varied forms from an array of materials. The shallow bowl here was used for scented ointments and is embellished with a pomegranate-shaped handle. Regarded as a fertility symbol because of its numerous seeds, the pomegranate became a popular decorative motif in ancient Egyptian jewelry and other objects associated with beauty.


On View, Gallery 50


Arts of Africa


Ancient Egyptian


Ointment Vessel


Egypt (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

c. 1550 BCE–1295 BCE


Travertine (Egyptian alabaster)


17.1 × 11.2 × 3.1 cm (6 3/4 × 4 7/16 × 1 3/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Henry H. Getty and Charles L. Hutchinson

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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