36: An Egyptian Pre-Dynastic Blacktop Vessel, Nagada
This is a very good example of an ancient black-top red pottery of pre-dynastic Amratian design - an essential addition to any ancient Egyptian collection! The sides of the vessel are smooth and slightly ovoid in shape tapering toward a narrow pointed base. The exterior is coated with a thin red iron-oxide wash that was burnished to a lustrous finish. The black top is carbon, produced by subjecting the top of the vessel to the actions of dense smoke. The vessel was made by hand using coil construction (the process is still visible on the inside) and was smoothed by hand. Called B-ware by W.M. Flinders Petrie because of their distinctive black rims, black-topped beakers and bowls made of riverine clay are a hallmark of the Naqada Ic-IIb Period. For similar examples refer: 1) Hayes, William "The Scepter of Egypt, A background study of the Egyptian Antiquities in The Metropolitan Museum of Art" Volume I, Figure 7 page 16; 2) Cleveland Museum "Catalogue of Egyptian Art" 1999; 3) Detroit Institute of Arts, McKissick Museum and the Earth Sciences and Resources Institute of the University of South Carolina, "The First Egyptians." 14"H (35.5 cm) x 8-1/4" top diameter (21.1 cm).
PROVENANCE: Ex-private Californian Collection, acquired in the 1960's and then by descent.
(there is a reserve on this lot)
Complete and in very good condition overall with a break to one side professionally restored. Three sets of drill holes are visible from an early restoration. These can be filled if required however, I tend to think this adds to the character of the vessel. For display purposes, the vessel can be turned so they are not shown. The burnished red surface of the vessel exhibits a fine craquelure where preserved, with losses relating to erosion or soluble salt efflorescence.