Diorite, as a hard rock, was extremely difficult to sculpt. It was used in the Early Dynastic and Old Kingdoms for vases. Later this altered and the material was used more for sculpture and large architectural pieces. The Romans exported the material, taking advantage of Egypt’s natural resources.
Ancient Egyptian Diorite Shell Bowl
An Ancient Egyptian diorite bowl, formed into a stylised shell shape. One side of the dish is deeper, leading to a very shallow rim. The reverse features a raised nodule, to allude to the simplified design of a shell.
Period: Early Dynastic period - Old Kingdom
Provenance: Ex Mayfair Gallery collection, pre 1999.
Condition: Very fine; some professional repairs