Kohl comes from a lead sulphide called “galena”, which was considered to have disinfecting and fly-deterrent properties, and is found frequently prescribed for assorted eye complaints in medical papyri and texts. In antiquity (both men and women) wore kohl on their eyelids as protection against the glare of the sun. In addition to this practical use, outlining the eyes could also have been a way of drawing a protective amulet right onto the skin. To make kohl, the galena was first ground up on a palette, with water or animal fat then added to create a paste. This paste would have adhered to the skin, with soot also added to produce a darker coloured kohl.
Ancient Greek Bronze Kohl Bottle and Applicator
A finely cast ancient Greek bronze kohl pot and applicator. The amphora-type pot features an elongated body that tapers towards the bottom, a short neck and a flattened flared rim. Two curved handles have been applied to the sides and still display remains of bronze chains that were used to suspend the vessel. Inserted into the pot is a bronze stick applicator with a flared flattened end and decorative ridges. A green patination and some earthy encrustations remain on the surface.
Provenance: Ex Arieh Klein collection, Jerusalem. A prolific antiquity collector who has gifted pieces to Museums across the world.
Condition: Good condition. Soem cracking to the base of the vessel, consistent with age. Some encrustation to the rim.
|Dimensions||W 3.3 x H 17.7 cm|