Egyptian Granite Kohl Jar


A fine Egyptian granite kohl jar featuring a flattened, wide rim and a sinuous body with slightly carinated shoulders. The vessel comes with its original lid. The granite leaves a beautiful speckled effect in black and white across the surface.

Date: Circa 1550-1070 BC
Period: New Kingdom Period
Condition: Good condition, some earthly encrustation to the surface.


SKU: CS-108 Category:

The New Kingdom Period was an especially prosperous period of Egypt’s history, and it marked the pinnacle of Egyptian power. Jars of this kind were predominantly produced from stone and were used to store kohl, before it was applied to the body with a glass rod or reed. Kohl comes from a lead sulphide called “galena”, which was considered to have disinfecting and fly-deterrent properties, and is found frequently prescribed for assorted eye complaints in medical papyri. The Ancient Egyptians (both men and women) wore kohl on their eyelids as protection against the glare of the sun. In addition to this practical use, outlining the eyes could also have been a way of drawing a protective amulet, such as the Wadjet Eye, right onto the skin. To make kohl, the galena was first ground up on a palette, with water or animal fat then added to create a paste. This paste would have adhered to the skin, with soot also added to produce a darker coloured kohl.

Weight 43.4 g
Dimensions W 3.2 x H 3.3 cm



Reference: For a similar item, The Metropolitan Museum, item number 16.10.443a, b