A rare Egyptian Pink Limestone Vessel, Pre-Dynastic Period, Naqada II, ca. 3500 - 2600 BCE
Regular price$12,000 USD
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This lovely limestone vessel is an excellent example of a type. Carved from pale pink limestone sourced from the Eastern desert, the design is simple and elegant: a globular body adorned by opposing hand-drilled lug handles, the broad rim is flat and flaring and the base is flat.
Predynastic stone vessels were created from many different types of stone, including limestone, alabaster, marble, serpentine, basalt, breccia, porphyry, schist (greywacke), diorite, and flint, and were common during the late 4th and early 3rd millennia BCE. Classified as Type 1 in the Petrie typology, vessels such as this example were luxury products, used as containers for unguents and cosmetic oils, that were kept fresh by the thickness and impermeability of the jars' walls. These ointments were not only used in wealthy households for many everyday uses (for medicinal purposes), but were of utmost importance in religious rituals (as temple offerings, for the daily anointment of statues and cult objects) and in the funerary sphere (for the preparation of mummies, since they were believed to have a rejuvenating and generative effect). The great number of these vessels surviving today shows the ancient Egyptians' skill at handmade stone manufacturing.
Ref: Winifred Needler, Predynastic and Archaic Egypt in The Brooklyn Museum, New York: The Brooklyn Museum (1984), pg. 238. Joan Crowfoot Payne, Catalogue of the Predynastic Egyptian Collection in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford: Clarendon Press (1993), pg. 130. For the form, cf: Hayes, Scepter of Egypt, vol. I, p. 23, fig. 15.
Condition: Repairs to the rim, with some scattered light surface deposits, the vessel is otherwise intact and in very good condition overall.
Provenance: Private NYC collection, acquired from the NY trade in the 1980s.
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