Collection online

flask

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    EA30458

  • Description

    Pottery flask in the form of Isis riding a goose: the flask is in good condition, except for the nose of Isis and the base ring, which are damaged. The vessel was made in a two-piece mould; the fabric is micaceous brown Nile silt, covered with a black slip (Memphite Black Ware). This vessel shows Isis riding side-saddle on a goose, wrapping her arms around the neck of the bird, whose head turns back and leans on her right arm. Isis has a row of short corkscrew locks around her forehead, and then longer curls that fall on to her shoulders. She wears a fringed garment, knotted at her breasts, that covers her back and buttocks, but leaves her legs exposed. At the back the work is less detailed, and the goose's wing is extended. A flat handle, grooved on its front edge, runs from the head of Isis to her back, and on top of her head is the short, flaring mouth of the vessel. Below the group is a series of long, pointed leaves rising from the base ring.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 2ndC BC-1stC BC
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 10.5 centimetres
    • Diameter: 6 centimetres (max.)
  • Curator's comments

    The face of Isis is distinctly unflattering and she may be intended to be a caricature of Aphrodite, who was commonly shown with geese; the semi-nudity and erotic nature of the group amplifies the parody. The vessel is of an unusual type, but the workmanship is excellent, with the feathers of the goose and the garment of Isis being finely textured and detailed.

    Bibliography:
    S. Walker & P. Higgs [eds.], 'Cleopatra: Regina d'Egitto' (Milan, 2000), p.49 [I.30] = S. Walker & P. Higgs [eds.], 'Cleopatra of Egypt' (London, 2001), p. 107 [130].Terracotta IV
    Purchased: Chauncey Murch

    Ptolemaic, probably second century bc.

    Comparanda: Close, probably same mould-series: Edgar 1911: xxv:32387; Pagenstecher 1913: pl. xxix:4. Close: Bonham’s Sale Catalogue, 12 December 1995: lot 402.

    Bibliog: Walker and Higgs 2000: 49, no. i:30; Walker and Higgs 2001: 106, no. 130, dated second or first century bc.

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  • Bibliography

    • Walker & Higgs 2001 130 bibliographic details
    • Terracotta 3008 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Condition

    fair - chips off base

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Associated events

    • Associated Event: Leda And The Swan
  • Acquisition date

    1899

  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number

    EA30458

  • Registration number

    1899,0314.10

Terracotta flask in the form of Isis riding a goose: the flask is in good condition, except for the nose of Isis and the base ring, which are damaged. The vessel was made in a two-piece mould; the fabric is micaceous brown Nile silt, covered with a black slip (Memphite Black Ware). This vessel shows Isis riding side-saddle on a goose, wrapping her arms around the neck of the bird, whose head turns back and leans on her right arm. Isis has a row of short corkscrew locks around her forehead, and then longer curls that fall on to her shoulders. She wears a fringed garment, knotted at her breasts, that covers her back and buttocks, but leaves her legs exposed. At the back the work is less detailed, and the goose's wing is extended. A handle runs from the head of Isis to her back, and on top of her head is the short, flaring mouth of the vessel. Below the group is a series of long, pointed leaves rising from the base ring.

Terracotta flask in the form of Isis riding a goose: the flask is in good condition, except for the nose of Isis and the base ring, which are damaged. The vessel was made in a two-piece mould; the fabric is micaceous brown Nile silt, covered with a black slip (Memphite Black Ware). This vessel shows Isis riding side-saddle on a goose, wrapping her arms around the neck of the bird, whose head turns back and leans on her right arm. Isis has a row of short corkscrew locks around her forehead, and then longer curls that fall on to her shoulders. She wears a fringed garment, knotted at her breasts, that covers her back and buttocks, but leaves her legs exposed. At the back the work is less detailed, and the goose's wing is extended. A handle runs from the head of Isis to her back, and on top of her head is the short, flaring mouth of the vessel. Below the group is a series of long, pointed leaves rising from the base ring.

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Object reference number: YCA7984

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