EGYPTIAN ALABASTER COSMETIC VESSEL

£500.00

Measurements: 3.9 cm − height, 5.6 cm − width

 

Description: An Egyptian cosmetic vessel in yellow creamy alabaster. From a rounded base the pot widens into a lotus-like shape forming a container for cosmetics. Due to the heat and scorching sun, Egyptians were careful to treat their skin with creams and oils to prevent burning and dehydration, and with cosmetics to keep the sun's rays out of their eyes. They also used perfume as a means of displaying their wealth: the richer someone was, the more perfume they could apply to their skin and clothing and the larger their alabaster jars and pots in which they stored fragrances. This particular cosmetic vessel has a distinctive vein of lighter white alabaster just above the base, and might have been used to store creams, oils, or cosmetics.

 

Provenance: Ex. English collection, 1930's.

 

Reference: Bonham's Antiquities sale 21 Apr. 2005, lot. 21.

The Cleveland Museum of Art

Further reading: Kuhlman, K. L., The Contents and Significance of Egyptian Alabaster Jars, 2012.

 

Period: Middle Kingdom: 2030-1640 BC

 

Condition: Very fine, minor restoration to the rim, minor chipping to the base, with minor encrustations on the underside of the base.

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