This vessel is made from travertine and is about 5.2cm high. The type of vessel is often called a tazza (plural tazze). These objects appear in Egypt in the reign of Thutmose III though it is believed they copied foreign examples perhaps from Syria. The shape suggests they were originally based on metal examples. Early examples were made in two pieces with foot and bowl separate. This example is one piece only.
In the Tomb of the Two Sculptors (Davies 1925) large tazze are carried by servants to supply unguents and oils to guests, while guests hold smaller examples. Pliny states that unguents keep best in travertine containers (Manniche 1989, 56). Such an item would have been valuable.
This example was originally part of the collection of Lord Aberdare, transferred from the National Museum of Wales Cardiff.
Andrews, C.A.R. and van Dijk, J. (ed.), 2006. Objects for Eternity. Egyptian Antiquities from the W Arnold Meijer Collection. Mainz.
Brovarski, E., Doll, S.K., and Freed, R. E. (eds.), 1982. Egypt‘s Golden Age: The Art of Living in the New Kingdom 1558-1085 BC. Boston p 129.
Davies, N. de G. 1925. The Tomb of the Two Sculptors at Thebes. New York.
Manniche, L. 1989. An Ancient Egyptian Herbal. London: British Museum Press.