This vessel, carved in the form of a wild duck, would have served the purpose of a cosmetic vessel or ‘toilet spoon’. Comprised of three individual sections, the head is attached to the base with a collar of bone, and the movable lid is secured by a bone pin. The top of this lid is also decorated around the edge with small rectangular plaques. On the underside of the base there is an ‘ankh’ carved in low relief, the ankh being a symbol of life, and as such was also used as the hyroglyphic symbol for life giving subtances such as air and, in the case of this duck, water.
With Maurice Nahman (1868-1948), Cairo, Egypt since at least 1927.
Ernest Brummer (1891-1964) collection, Paris and New York, acquired from the above 29th June 1927. Listed as inventory number P4182 in the collection (accompanied by photocopy of original inventory card from 1927).
The Ernest Brummer Collection of Egyptian & Near Eastern Antiquities and Works of Art; Sotheby's, London, 16-17 November 1964, lot 105.
“The Ernest Brummer Collection of Egyptian and Near Eastern Antiquities and Works of Art”, Sotheby’s, London, 16th-17th November 1964, Lot 105.
I. Grimm-Stadelmann (ed.), Aesthetic Glimpses, Masterpieces of Ancient Egyptian Art, The Resandro Collection, Munich, 2012, p. 50, no. R-169.