Ancient Egypt, Pre-Dynastic Period, late Naqada II to early Naqada III, ca. 3200 BCE. A stunning ovoid jar with an elegant presentation evocative of ancient Egypt. The vessel is hand-carved from sumptuous breccia marble of rose and cream hues. The petite vessel is comprised of a piriform body rising from a rounded bottom, gently tapering shoulders, a flared neck, and flat rim. An exquisite form that is a sublime example of early Egyptian craftsmanship! Size: 2.25" in diameter at widest point x 2.5" H (5.7 cm x 6.4 cm); 2.625" H (6.7 cm) on included custom stand.
In the early Pre-Dynastic period, artisans hollowed out hard stone vessels using hand-held stone tools and abrasive desert sand. Then, during the Naqada II period (ca. 3600 to 3200 BCE), the invention of copper tubes used to carve very hard stone (in conjunction with sand as an abrasive) allowed people to hollow out the interior of vessels in a more sophisticated manner, following the contours of the vessel - as we see in this example.
A slightly-larger but stylistically-similar example hammered for GBP 8,750 ($11,513.69) at Christie's, London Antiquities Auction (sale 10372, April 15, 2015, lot 16): https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/ancient-art-antiquities/an-egyptian-breccia-jar-predynastic-period-naqada-5882113-details.aspx?from=salesummery&intobjectid=5882113&sid=dcffbe68-d8b0-4124-a6c9-c8d772913107
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection; ex-Norman Blankman collection, New York, USA, acquired in the 1960s
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Minute nicks to the rim and slight surface abrasions. Otherwise intact and superb.