Height: 5 3/8 inches (13.6 cm.)
3400-3200 B.C. / Pre-dynastic Period, Naqada II.
Ex. Florida private collection, K.S., 1975.
Naqada is a town on the West bank of the Nile known as Nubt in ancient Egypt. It gave its name to a pre-dynastic culture that existed in this area and other sites, stretching as far south as Nubia. Archeologists sub-divide the period even further as “Naqada II”, which refers to artifacts produced c. 3500 – 3100 B.C.. During this era (also known as “Gerzean”), pottery production increased considerably and innovations in form, color, and technique were produced. This reflects the increasing complexity of society and new socio-economic conditions, such as intensified trades with groups from Western Asia. Farming became more intense and although hunting was still important, the lifestyle became more sedentary. The pottery produced in this period is characterized by the use of a pale clay, perhaps pre-worked on a hand wheel. The surface of the clay was left in its natural state and adorned with single color painted motifs, many of which were evocative of themes from the Nile valley.Our vessel is globular in form with twin perforated lug handles, a flat everted rim, and is decorated with a fish scale pattern. Vessels of a similar type have been found in pre-dynastic graves and once held liquids of substances for use in the afterlife. In addition to its historical significance, this vessel has a strong aesthetic appeal with its bold abstract design. It may have been intended to simulate stone.
Cf: For a closely similar example, see lot 7, Sotheby’s antiquities auction New York, June 1995; lot 109, Sotheby’s New York antiquities auction, December 2002 (realized then $8,365), also, lot 2, Sotheby’s New York antiquities auction, December 2007 (realized then $15,000); Also, Ashmolean Museum, Pre-dynastic Egyptian Collection, no. 888, fig. 46; Also, A.J. Spenser, The Rise of Civilization in the Nile Valley, London 1993, p. 38, fig. 21, and Royal Ontario Museum, no. 900.2.1.; Brooklyn Museum, Predynastic and Archaic Egypt, fig. 46, no. 888.
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