This lovely squat jar of creamy alabaster has smooth convex sides that swell upward from a small, footed base to a high shoulder and a detachable rim. This wide, flat rim fits neatly into the mouth of the vessel and is surmounted by a flat alabaster lid. It is unusual for all three pieces to remain together; usually, they are lost over time.
As is common with this type of cosmetic vessel, the drilling of the interior is narrow and does not conform to the shape of the body. Traces of the original blue mineral contents can still be found within the body and rim of the vessel.
Cosmetic vessels such as this example were used for storing kohl, or eye paint. Egyptians used kohl extensively, both to emphasize and protect their eyes. The wide rim of this small pot meant that small crumbs of this precious product, from distant Arabian mines by the Red Sea, were not wasted.
For a similar example see: Petrie, WMF "Stone and Metal Vases" (1917) plate XXX #733, and p. 142-144 in Bourriau, Pharaohs and Mortals, Egyptian Art in the Middle Kingdom.
Dimensions: Height: 1 1/4 inches (3 cm), Lid diameter: 1 3/8 inches (3.5 cm)
Condition: The vessel is intact and in very good condition overall.
Provenance: Property from the Estate of Joan Conway Crancer, St. Louis, Missouri, acquired from Galerie du Sycomore, Paris, 8 November 1990.