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Home > Auctions > 21st February 2023 > Egyptian Blue-Glazed Faience Chalice

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LOT 0011

GBP (£) 15,000 - 20,000
EUR (€) 16,970 - 22,620
USD ($) 18,480 - 24,640

Opening Bid
£13,500 (EUR 15,269; USD 16,634) (+bp*)

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Bid History: 0

5 in. (104 grams, 12.5 cm high).

A blue-glazed faience chalice representing the blue lotus flower with a tall, flaring cup rounded at the base, short stem with a flared foot; held in a lockable wooden presentation box with key; restored.

Acquired from Dr Jan Beekmans, circa 1982.
UK private collection.

Accompanied by an academic report by Egyptologist Paul Whelan.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by search certificate no.11599-198342.

Cf. The British Museum, museum number EA4801 'Blue glazed composition (faience) drinking-cup, in the form of a stemmed lotus flower', for similar; cf. The Metropolitan Museum, accession number 26.7.972, for similar; Walters Art Gallery, inventory no.48.416, for similar.

It is thought that blue lotus chalices served cultic or votive roles in temples or in offering rituals to the dead, and the white lotus versions were used as drinking vessels. Called Seshen by the ancient Egyptians, the blue lotus symbolised solar concepts surrounding rebirth- possibly because its flowers open their petals in the morning and close them again at night. Given this connection, it is not surprising to find that the lotus features prominently in ancient Egyptian funerary art, in banqueting scenes honouring the dead and in bouquets adorning the coffin and its bier. It is thought that the petals were used to make perfume and that the ancient Egyptians exploited the lotus's narcotic properties and added its extracted essence to wine to enhance the pleasurable effects of the drink, as can be seen in banqueting scenes.