ca. 3000 BC


Minoan or import


Grey patterned marble
Maximum: 10 1/16 x 4 15/16 in. (25.5 x 12.5 cm)

Object Number



The practice of carving vessels from hard stones spread from Egypt to Greece during the Bronze Age. In the Cycladic Islands beginning in the Early Bronze Age, the preferred material was white marble, which was readily available in high quality. In Crete, however, craftsmen exploited a much wider range of stones, many of them with exotic patterning. The debt to Egyptian models can be demonstrated from imports found on Crete, some of which had been locally modified.

On this large bowl or jar, impressive in size, a simple lip flows into the concave neck. The shoulder, sharply defined, is articulated with four tiny string holes. On vessels of other shapes but having the same scale, some scholars have suggested that these holes might have served as a means of suspension. Considerations of weight, however, suggest rather that they allowed a cover to be fastened in place. Below, a hemispherical body rests on a low offset foot.

The vessel is said to be from Crete, where a concentration of marble vessels with black and gray mottling has been observed at Mochlos. The shape suggests that the artist was familiar with Near Eastern prototypes. Although the precise function of this vessel is unknown, the effort invested in its creation is suggestive either of elite luxury or solemn ritual contexts, or perhaps both.

Credit Line

Ex Brummer Collection, donated by the Brummer-Laszlo Family


Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Summer of 1945|
MCCM Permanent Collection Reinstallation, September 2004 - June 19, 2014|
MCCM Permanent Collection Reinstallation, July 2014 - Present
The Ernest Brummer Collection, Vol. II (Zurich: Galerie Koller, 1979), 290-290, number 664.|
Michael C. Carlos Museum: Highlights of the Collections (Atlanta: Michael C. Carlos Museum, 2011), 42.


© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Bruce M. White, 2008.
This image is provided by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, who retains all rights in it. This image is made available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined by United States law. For all other uses, please contact the Michael C. Carlos Museum Office of Collections Services at +1(404) 727-4282 or Users must cite the author and source of the image as they would material from any printed work, but not in any way that implies endorsement of the user or the user's use of the image. Users may not remove any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary notices, including without limitation attribution information, credits, and copyright notices that have been placed on or near the image by the Museum. The Museum assumes no responsibility for royalties or fees claimed by the artist or third parties. The User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Emory University, its Michael C. Carlos Museum, its agents, employees, faculty members, students and trustees from and against any and all claims, losses, actions, damages, expenses, and all other liabilities, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from its use of photographic images for which permission is granted hereunder.

On View



“Bowl,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed December 16, 2018,

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