An Egyptian Pre Dynastic Gneiss Vessel, ca. 3600 - 3300 BCE
An Egyptian Pre Dynastic Gneiss Vessel, ca. 3600 - 3300 BCE
An Egyptian Pre Dynastic Gneiss Vessel, ca. 3600 - 3300 BCE
An Egyptian Pre Dynastic Gneiss Vessel, ca. 3600 - 3300 BCE
An Egyptian Pre Dynastic Gneiss Vessel, ca. 3600 - 3300 BCE

An Egyptian Pre Dynastic Gneiss Vessel, ca. 3600 - 3300 BCE


Regular price $7,500 USD

superbly crafted white gneiss vessel, the aggregate stone comprising a variety of grey to black inclusions in a soft cream matrix. The elegant form is characteristic of early dynastic stone vases, the perforated twin horizontal lug handles placed on the shoulders, the rounded rim offset, on a flat base, the interior hollowed, although in this example, not to the vessel sides.  Vessels such as this example were highly prized in antiquity and were probably used to store valuable and exotic perfumed oils or ointments.   

Background:  Predynastic stone vessels were created from many different types of stone, including limestone, alabaster, marble, serpentine, basalt, breccia, porphyry, schist (greywacke), diorite, and flint.   A luxury product demonstrating the Egyptian's skill at handmade stone manufacturing, they were used for special occasions, display, and to hold expensive cosmetics in wealthy households.  The earliest examples that appeared in burials were small in size, often bulbous or cylindrical pots with rims and lug handles, such as this example. Around 3000 B.C. a full range of material was being skillfully worked often in large sizes, and by the Early Dynastic period enormous, beautiful stone pots were made as temple offerings, replacing ceramics as the most luxurious grave goods. Like their ceramic counterparts, stone vessels were intended to hold actual or symbolic contents (food, oils) necessary for the afterlife. 

For related examples see: Robert V. Fullerton, Art Museum Predynastic Egyptian Pottery Museum No. EL 01.001.2004 pg. 188,119,120,121 ex. 44-45, Sir W.M.Flinders Petrie,The Funeral Furniture OF Egypt Stone and Metal Vases, Stone Vases 62-90: Dynasties I-III, fig, 64-65.

Ref: Winifred Needler, Predynastic and Archaic Egypt in The Brooklyn Museum, New York: The Brooklyn Museum (1984), pg. 238.

Dimensions: Width: 3 1/4 inches (8.3 cm), Height: 1 1/2 inches (4 cm)

Condition: Chip to the rim professionally rejoined, some minor wear/loss and accretions to the body that do not detract.  The vessel is intact and in excellent condition overall.

Provenance: Property from the Estate of Joan Conway Crancer, St. Louis, Missouri, acquired from Galerie du Sycomore, Paris, 8 November 1990. 

Sue McGovern, President of Sands of Time, is an Executive Board and a certified member (CAPP) of the International Society of Appraisers (ISA), an international multi-disciplinary certifying and accrediting organization.  ISA  has a mandatory recertification program for all senior members and Sue is in compliance with that program.   

CAPP is the highest achievement and level of credentialing in the industry of personal property appraising, signifying advanced appraisal methodology, expertise and professional development.

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The Sands of Time Appraisal team can appraise individual works of art or entire collections, with large collections being a specialty.  Every appraisal report is personally prepared by Sue resulting in the delivery of professional document with value conclusions in conformity with the Internal Revenue Service (where applicable), the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice” (USPAP), and the International Society of Appraisers (ISA).  With her broad information technology background, Sue also brings 25 years of project management experience that includes logistical design, planning, organizing, and implementation of large and small appraisal assignments.

By analyzing current trends and conducting comprehensive research, we closely monitor the nuances of the current market. Each client and appraisal situation is unique so our appraisal services are tailored to meet your timeline and specifications. This includes video conferencing, appraisals from photos and state of the art software tools. Efficiency and effectiveness from initial review to the delivery of the final documents is our top priority. Fees for appraisals are determined by the number of hours involved and any necessary travel and expenses. Our fees are negotiated based upon the express needs of each client and are competitive within the marketplace.

We invite inquiries from individuals, estate liquidators, museums, educational institutions, consultants, architects, interior designers, as well as colleagues, collectors and investors. Please contact us for further details.  I look forward to hearing from you,


Sands of Time offer a very flexible layaway payment plan for all objects offered for sale on our website.  Here's how it works:
  • Deposit:  A deposit of 15% of the total price is required upon purchase.  
  • Checkout:  Order through our website and select the "layaway" option at checkout.
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Should you cancel your layaway purchase, a 15% restocking-fee will apply. If you exchange or trade-up the objet purchased while it is on layaway, the restocking fee for the original purchase will not apply.  If you would like to take advantage of our layaway system or would like to discuss an alternative option that better suits your budget, please contact us via e-mail or call 1-202-342-0518. 


Sands of Time provides a lifetime, unconditional guarantee of authenticity and provenance. Every artifact purchased from us is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity, stating culture, provenance and age. Furthermore, we conduct due diligence to ensure the item, to the best of our knowledge, has not been illegally obtained from an excavation, architectural monument, public institution or private property. Wherever possible, reference is made to existing collections or publications.

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  • To the best of our ability, we guarantee authenticity and provenance of all objects offered for sale.