Gold Vase Dedicated to the Goddess Bastet
A gold vase that was found with other objects at Bubastis in the Nile Delta, among the votive offering in the temple dedicated to the cat goddess, Bastet. The topmost decorative band is a frieze of lanceolate leaves that point downwards; the middle band has a motif of large drops, and the bottom band is a series of circles with stylized rosettes.
Finds of gold and silver plate are rare as the metals were often melted down to produce other objects. This example was part of a hoard found in a sanctuary dedicated to the goddess Bastet. Most if not all of the vessels in Tell Basta find belonged to just such a wine service associated presumably with a temple festival.
A ring-shaped handle is attached below the rim by a small bar in which a stone is set. The body of the vase is engraved with a garland of leaves in the form of a necklace from which a lotus flower hangs flanked by two birds with outspread wings.
Wine services do not seem to have a long history in Egypt, but appear to have been introduced in the New Kingdom when wine-drinking became a feature of elite society in the Ramesside Period.
New Kingdom, 19th Dynasty, ca. 1292-1189 BC. From Bubastis (Tell Basta). Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 39870