Blue lotus chalice
Faience lotus flower cup with pale blue black painted decoration. The stem and foot is missing. Originally part of the MacGregor collection purchased by Wellcome in 1922. The Egypt Centre also has a stone chalice in the shape of a lotus.
Such lotus chalices seem to appear in the New Kingdom and are typically Egyptian. The lotus or water lily rises and opens up each day as the sun comes up. It was thus associated with rebirth. Some have suggested that its narcotic properties were also used by the Egyptians. Spell 81 in the 'Book of the Dead' is for transforming oneself into a lotus: 'Spell for assuming the form of a lotus. To be said by N. I am this pure lotus that has ascended by the Sunlight and is at Re's nose. I spend my (time) shedding (i.e. the sunlight) on Horus. I am the pure lotus that ascended from the field.' Translation from Allen (1974).
Such chalices seem to have first been introduced in the early 18th Dynasty. This one has its foot and stem missing. It has been suggested that since the blue lotus chalice is not usually shown in scenes of drinking that it was only used as a cult vessel in temples or for rituals of the dead (Tait 1963). Some depictions of chalices even show them as containers for holding vegetables and flowers. However, a piece of linen of Ramesside date was painted with a picture of a lady holding a lotus chalice. In several faience bowls a blue lotus chalice is used to hold a libation.
See Brovarski, et al. 1982. Egypt's Golden Age: the Art of Living in the New Kingdom 1558-1085 BC Museum of Fine Arts Boston pp. 145-148 for other examples.
A similar lotus chalice dating to the New is published in Scott, G.D. 1986. Ancient Egyptian Art at Yale Yale University Art Gallery, pp. 106-107.