Ancient Egypt, Early Dynastic Period to Old Kingdom, 2nd to 3rd Dynasty, ca. 2890 to 2613 BCE. This is a large and gorgeous stone jar, carved from a mottled diorite. The conical, squat vessel rests on a flat base, and the thick walls create a broad shoulder and a disk rim that is undercut. Unpierced or false lug handles flank the shoulder, indicating this probably was not utilitarian, but funerary or ceremonial. Such jars were intended to be filled with offerings and left as votives at temples or shrines devoted to specific deities. The interior is well hollowed out, conforming in shape to the outer contour and is unpolished, leaving multiple horizontal grooves as evidence of the marks left by the tools used to work the piece. The stone itself is a gorgeous speckled black and white hue, and the hardness of diorite made it notoriously difficult to carve with ancient tools. Size: 5.8" Diameter x 3" H (14.7 cm x 7.6 cm)
For a similar example please see the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website, accession number: 24.7.5
This piece has been searched against the Art Loss Register database and has been cleared. The Art Loss Register maintains the world's largest database of stolen art, collectibles, and antiques.
Provenance: ex-Arte Primitivo, New York, New York, USA; ex-Galleria Delvecchio, Ontario, Canada, 2014; ex-Christie's, New York "Antiquities" auction (sale 2056, December 9, 2008, lot 2); ex-Billy Jamieson (1954-2011) collection; ex-Gustave Jequier (1868-1946) collection; authenticated by Gayle Bibson, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Repaired from 4 pieces. Infill along gaps and break lines. Visible break line and abrasions to exterior and chips along the fissures. Chips and losses to rim. Old Arte Primitivo label on base and Christie's tag.