Inv. n°: MMoCA857

The 'Brummer' Duck-Shaped Cosmetic Vessel

This vessel, carved in the form of a wild duck, would have served the purpose of a cosmetic vessel or ‘toilet spoon’. Comprised of three individual sections, the head is attached to the base with a collar of bone, and the movable lid is secured by a bone pin. The top of this lid is also decorated around the edge with small rectangular bone plaques. On the underside of the base there is an ‘ankh’ carved in low relief, the ankh being a symbol of life, and as such was also used as the hieroglyphic symbol for life giving substances such as air and, in the case of this duck, water.

h. 5.7 x w. 5.1 x d. 14.1 cm

18th Dynasty, New Kingdom, 1550-1291 BC, Egypt

Wood, inlays in ivory


  • With Maurice Nahman (1868-1948), Cairo, Egypt, since at least 1927
  • Ernest Brummer (1891-1964) collection, Paris and New York, acquired from the above 29th June 1927, listed as inventory number P4182 in the collection
  • Sotheby's, The Ernest Brummer Collection of Egyptian & Near Eastern Antiquities and Works of Art, London, 16th -17th November 1964
  • Resandro Collection
  • Acquired at David Aaron Gallery, London


  • The Ernest Brummer Collection of Egyptian and Near Eastern Antiquities and Works of Art, London, 16th-17th November 1964, lot 105
  • Aesthetic Glimpses, Masterpieces of Ancient Egyptian Art, The Resandro Collection, Munich, 2012-01-01, p. 50, no. R-169


  • Musée d'Art Classique de Mougins (MACM), Mougins, France, from 2020

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