Alabaster has been used for centuries by several cultures, and so was by the Egyptians, who used this elegant stone to carve especially vessels of different dimensions, from the small kohl cosmetic containers, to larger bowls for specific precious liquids. The Egyptian Book of the Dead states in spell 125 that one should not speak unless “clean, dressed in fresh clothes, shod in white sandals, painted with eye-paint, anointed with the finest oil of myrrh”. Cosmetics were a large industry in Ancient Egypt, being produced professionally and sold in the market place. The Egyptians had recipes for many modern-day toiletries, including toothpaste, deodorant, sun cream, cosmetics, and perfume.
Egyptian Alabaster Shallow Dish
A very fine Egyptian wide rimmed alabaster bowl, featuring a rounded base leading to convex walls extending outwards. The walls end in a wide rim, creating a shallow bowl. Stuning brown and cream hues from the stone cover the surface, some cracks feature across the dish and to the rim. Alabaster vessels, such as this fine example, might have been used to hold and store cosmetics or oils.
Period: Early Dynastic Period
Condition: Fine condition, some cracks to the bowl.