Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Kohl Jar Inscribed for Hatshepsut as God's Wife

New Kingdom
Dynasty 18
reign of Thutmose II–Early reign of Thutmose III
ca. 1492–1477 B.C.
From Egypt; Probably from Upper Egypt, Thebes
Travertine (Egyptian alabaster)
H. 6.5 cm (2 9/16 in.); W. 4.8 cm (1 7/8 in.); D. 5 cm (1 15/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1926
Accession Number:
Not on view
This kohl jar imitates a bundle of reeds. A flat lid (now missing) once swiveled around a metal pin, a piece of which still remains in the hole. Inscribed with the title "God's Wife," the elegant vessel could not have been part of Hatshepsut's final burial equipment but must have been made during the queen's marriage to Thutmose II or during the first years of her joint reign with Thutmose III. She probably gave it to a valued courtier or a family member. We have no means of ascertaining whether she used the little vase herself before she passed it on as a royal gift.
Acquired by Lord Carnarvon (d. 1923) from Yussef Hassan, Luxor. Carnarvon Collection, acquired by the Museum from Lady Carnarvon 1926.

Hayes, William C. 1959. Scepter of Egypt II: A Background for the Study of the Egyptian Antiquities in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Part II: The Hyksos Period and the New Kingdom (1675-1080 B.C.). Cambridge, Mass.: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 80, fig. 43.

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