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Blue Lotus Chalice

Unknown1475 BC - 1350 BC (New Kingdom, mid-Dynasty 18)

Cincinnati Art Museum

Cincinnati Art Museum

The Egyptians believed that the immortal spirit of the deceased remained linked to and dependent on its earthly body. Egyptian tombs were full of items designed to help and guarantee the soul’s rebirth and its successful passage to the afterlife. Almost everything included with a burial symbolized rebirth and renewal. This point is illustrated well by this blue faience cup, which probably came from an ancient Egyptian tomb. The vessel depicts the blue lotus, actually a fragrant water lily much loved by the Egyptians. Because its petals opened at sunrise and closed again at night, this flower was associated with life eternally renewed by the rays of the sun. The fully opened blossom on the cup forms the receptacle for wine, a favorite drink of the Egyptians. The lotus symbolized the eternal cycle of life governed by the sun.

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Details

  • Title: Blue Lotus Chalice
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1475 BC - 1350 BC (New Kingdom, mid-Dynasty 18)
  • Location: Egypt
  • Physical Dimensions: H. 5 in. (12 .7 cm), Diam. top 3 3/8 in. (8.6 vm), Diam. base 1 3/8 in. (3.5 cm)
  • Credit Line: Purchased by funds given in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Williams by their children
  • Accession Number: 1948.87
  • Type: Faience
  • Medium: Mold-made faience

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