Small Egyptian Kohl vessel
Egyptian Kohl vessel
Egyptian alabaster, calcite type.
Late Middle Kingdom to early New Kingdom,
12th to 18th dynasty,
approx. 1994 BC to 1292 BC.
Small vessel for Kohl with bulbous body. The slender foot has a flat base. The neck is tapered and probably once hosted a broad rim that is now missing. This was a pot used for Kohl, the eye cosmetic of the ancient Egyptians.
The ancient Egyptian stone vessels are made to last. They are the perfect equipment for the afterlife. It is therefore no coincidence that the technology for working very hard and durable rock was developed in predynastic Egypt. The art was perfected over time and stone vessels were not only manufactured for the domestic market, but soon established themselves as sought-after export goods for the entire Eastern Mediterranean.
Due to their timeless elegance, the stone vessels are extremely popular to this day and never miss in any important collection of Egyptian antiquities.
35mm height. 42mm diameter.
Broken above the shoulder, the vessel probably once had a broad rim that is now missing. The rest of the body is in good condition with some ancient damages to one side.
Acquired by us in 2020 on the British art market. Previously in a Swiss family collection, Zuerich. Acquired into the collection between 1975 and 1980 in Egypt, when the family lived in Cairo. Exported in 1980 when the family moved from Egypt to Switzerland.
Cf. Museum of Fine Arts Budapest, acc. no. 51.2475.
Cf. Brooklyn Museum, acc. no. 13.1029.
A commendable collection of articles about ancient Egyptian stone vessels can be found in C. E. Loeben, Aegyptiaca Kestneriana, volume 1 (2020).
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