Ancient Egyptian alabaster KOHL pot with a stopper. Artfully exploiting the banding in the stone.
Dated from, New Kingdom, 1550 – 1070 BC
Height: 5 cm – Diameter: 4 cm
Condition: Minor chip at the cover as shown otherwise intact, not repaired and not restored
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Cosmetics and other toiletries were highly valued by the ancient Egyptians. Both men and women wore eye make-up which served to protect the eyes from the bright sun and from blowing sand and dust. There was also a belief that darkening around the eyes would protect one from the harsh rays of the sun
Pigment was made from either green malachite or from black galena and was kept in a powdered form known as 'kohl', in specially made containers that were frequently carved from hard stones, and featuring a squat body, flat lip and rim, and a neck opening just wide enough for the insertion of a finger or kohl stick.
Kohl has been worn traditionally since the Protodynastic Period of Egypt (ca. 3100 BC) by Egyptian queens and noble women, who used the sulfide of antimony rather than of lead.
Provenance: Aweidah's collection before 1970 - Registered at the IAA