Restored from fragments that came to the Museum separately in 1926 and 1985, this is part of a slender goblet with a flaring lip that would have sat on a tall stem. Like others of this type (see 26.7.291
for a complete example), the chalice echoed in its form the blossom of the blue waterlily, which opened its petals each morning at sunrise and thus became a symbol of creation and rebirth. The decoration, executed in high relief, enhanced this symbolism. The background is a watery marsh, the landscape of creation, filled with plants. A naked child, representing both the sun god and the king as his delegate on earth, wields a harpoon as he maintains order over the chaotic mass of wild creatures that inhabit this fecund environment. A band around the rim of the chalice is adorned with a line of waterfowl alternating with nests full of eggs, again a symbol of fertility and birth.