Ancient Egypt, Old Kingdom, ca. 2500 BCE. A beautiful drilled alabaster vessel with a decorative rim and a beehive-shaped body. The alabaster is pretty and mottled, cream and butter-colored, and glows when held to a light source. The raised rim dips in on one side, with two incised lines forming grooves that may have allowed the vessel's contents to be poured through two very small passages while the lid rested atop it. The rim is also drilled through directly opposite those grooves, perhaps to allow the lid to be sewn in place. Below the rim, a round, jutting lip could have caught any escaping liquid. The body then flares outward, decorated around its center with two lightly incised bands and above its flat base with two similar bands. Size: 3.75" W x 3.45" H (9.5 cm x 8.8 cm)
Alabaster, which is a form of gypsum or calcite, soft to carve and smooth, was quarried along the length of the Nile, from Giza to just south of Luxor, and the Egyptians made its carved form famous throughout the ancient world. A thousand years later, the Greeks made vessels like this out of pottery and painted them white in imitation of the beautiful stone. On this example, as you examine the interior, you can see the grooves left behind from carving and smoothing it into its current form.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection
All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.
A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.
We ship worldwide to most countries and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.