Published Steatite Bowl with Duck Heads

Culture: Egyptian
Period: New Kingdom, 1550-1069 B.C.
Material: Steatite
Dimensions: 13.9 cm high
Price: Sold
Ref: 1397
Provenance: New York private collection Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck, acquired prior to 1978. Thence in the Resandro collection, Munich, Germany. Last with Christie’s London on 3 July 2018, lot 10, as well as Sotheby’s London on 17 December2020, lot 56. Exhibited in the Brooklyn Museum, New York from 1978 to 1987.
Condition: Professionally assembled from two parts.
Description: Rare and very finely worked out black steatite bowl. The bottom is rounded, with engraved plumage and two animal legs in high relief bent towards the centre. The trapezoidal handle in form of a stylized duck tail. On the opposite side two elaborate duck heads with strongly bent necks turning away from each other and clinging to the rim of the bowl. With numerous engraved details on the heads, the beak and in the plumage. Possibly from Saqqara. Open palettes in animal forms are usually found in the context of temples. Although the object is classified as a palette it could alternatively also be a spoon. Scientists assume that these spoons had a ritual function at the climax of the funeral ceremony when the mummy was able to eat again. Hence, they were functional utensils supporting the eating process and at the same time embodying food itself. Published in: Grimm-Stadelmann (editor) “Aesthetic Glimpses: Masterpieces of Ancient Egyptian Art, The Resandro Collection”, Munich 2012, page 47, number R-160. See for the type the bowl in the Egyptian Centre in Swansea with the inventory number W1022. Mounted.