Ancient Egypt, Old Kingdom, 3rd to 6th Dynasty, ca. 2686 to 2181 BCE. A beautiful offering cup of a petite size, hand-carved from speckled diorite of black and white hues. The inverted piriform body has a lightly-corseted form which tapers towards a bulged ring which surrounds the hollow base and expands to a thick rim and a shallow basin on top. Carved stone vessels like this example were intended to be filled with offerings and left as votives at temples or shrines devoted to specific deities. A fabulous and rare example from ancient Egypt! Size: 1.75" W x 2.1" H (4.4 cm x 5.3 cm).
A stylistically-similar example, of a larger size and from the Middle Kingdom Period, hammered for GBP 8,125 ($10,642.37) at Christie's, London Antiquities auction (sale 10372, April 15, 2015, lot 38): https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/ancient-art-antiquities/an-egyptian-diorite-jar-middle-kingdom-11th-12th-5882135-details.aspx?from=salesummery&intobjectid=5882135&sid=bf717b38-0bdf-46c4-9ddb-cf65b0db0be4
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection; ex-Sotheby's, New York "Egyptian, Classical, and Western Asiatic Antiquities Including Property from the Collection of the Late Marion Schuster, Lausanne" auction (December 7, 2001, part of lot 206)
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