A large Egyptian Pre-Dynastic Blacktop Vessel, Naqada I, ca. 3600 - 3300 BCE
EP2103Regular price $4,950 USD
Standing on a small, flat base tapering sharply upwards to a rounded shoulder under a flared rim and wide mouth, the exterior is coated with a thin red iron-oxide wash and burnished to a lustrous finish, a technique that polished and compacted the surface enabling the vessel to serve more efficiently, if desired, as a container for liquids. It was made using coil construction (the process is still visible on the inside) and smoothed by hand. The top was blackened during firing, resulting in carbonization of the surface and creating the distinctive two-toned coloring.
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 very similar examples see:
Berman, Lawrence M., The Cleveland Museum of Art: Catalogue of Egyptian Art, 1999, no. 49.
Kaplan, Julius D., Predynastic Egyptian Pottery in the Collection of the Robert V. Fullerton Art Museum, California State University, San Bernadino, 2005, no. 8.
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.
Detroit Institute of Arts, McKissick Museum and the Earth Sciences and Resources Institute of the University of South Carolina, "The First Egyptians", page 52.
Dimensions: Height: 9 inches (22.5 cm), Width: 4 1/2 inches (11.43 cm)
Condition: The vessel is intact and in excellent condition overall, the burnished red surface exhibits a fine craquelure where preserved, with losses relating to erosion or soluble salt efflorescence particularly to one side where it originally lay. A fine example.
Provenance: From the estate of William B. Grindereng, acquired in the 1960s, thereafter in a private Virginia collection.