Jubilee Vessel of Pepi I Meryre

The beautiful hieroglyphs on this jubilee vessel identify its owner and the ritual in which it was used, on the left is the Horus name of King Pepi I (one of a king’s five names), “Beloved of the Two Lands [Egypt].”

At center is his throne name, Meryre; below are brief, symmetrical texts reading, “given life and dominion forever.” On the right is a text, “First day of the Sed festival.” If an Egyptian king reigned for thirty years, he performed a ritual of renewal, the Sed festival, in which this vessel would have been used.

Jubilee Vessel of Pepi I
Jubilee Vessel of Pepi I

[Translation on this vessel] The Horus, Mery-tawy (Beloved of the Two Lands); King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Mery-re (Beloved of Re); First occasion of the Sed-festival; Given life and dominion forever, given life and dominion forever; [Translation] Right column: “First of the Sed Festival” Middle column: “King of Upper and Lower Egypt”, Mery-Ra Left column: “Horus name=Mery-tawy”; Horizontally ” Given life and happiness forever” (this twice)

Dikran Kelekian, Paris and New York, [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1914, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.

Old Kingdom, 6th Dynasty, reign of Pepi I, ca. 2290 BC. Egyptian Alabaster (calcite) and pigment, bottom: 5 11/16 x 4 3/16 in. (14.5 x 10.7 cm) (h. x diam.); top: 5 11/16 in. (14.4 cm) (diam.). From Saqqara necropolis. Now in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 41.28