Ancient Egypt, Pre-Dynastic Period, Naqada II, ca. 3650 to 3300 BCE. A coil-formed redware pottery jar of a squat, condensed size exhibiting a bulky, acorn-shaped body with a narrow base, rounded shoulders that taper gradually to form the broad neck, and a thick, rolled rim. The upper black-hued portion of the vessel is comprised of thick carbon deposits formed by administering the top of the jar to thick clouds of smoke for extended periods of time in an oxygen-deprived environment. Black-topped vessels originally rose to popularity during the early Naqada I, a culture which inhabited ancient Egypt during its pre-dynastic period. The Naqada were first described by famed archaeologist William Flinders Petrie; however, relatively little is known about them except that they were focused around the site of El-Amra in central Egypt, west of the Nile River. Size: 5.45" W x 6.8" H (13.8 cm x 17.3 cm); 9.4" H (23.9 cm) on included custom stand.
Pre-Dynastic Egyptian black-top vessels were traditionally made from silt deposits taken from the Nile River due to their abundance in iron and silica. After the pot had dried but before it was fired, it would first be burnished and rubbed smooth with a small stone to create the pinstripe vertical striations still visible today. An iron-rich slip would then be applied just before firing; when placed in an oxygen-rich environment, the elevated temperatures would create the vessels' signature red-orange hue.
After the end of the Naqada III period around 3,000 BCE, the use of Nile silt in pottery creations fell out of favor with the Pre-Dynastic Egyptians. This is due to the increase in popularity of marl clay, a newly discovered material for creating terracotta objects which was easier to shape and enabled firing at far greater temperatures than the highly-porous silt.
Cf. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession number 99.4.75; The British Museum, museum number EA58522 for a taller form.
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: private West Hollywood, California, USA collection; ex-private Minnesota, USA collection, active on the New York art market in the 1950s to 1960s
All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.
A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids. PLEASE NOTE:
Due to recent increases of shipments being seized by Australian & German customs (even for items with pre-UNESCO provenance), we will no longer ship most antiquities and ancient Chinese art to Australia & Germany.
For categories of items that are acceptable to ship to Australia or Germany, please contact us directly or work with your local customs brokerage firm.
Display stands not described as included/custom in the item description are for photography purposes only and will not be included with the item upon shipping.
Small chip to rim, with nicks and abrasions to rim, body, and base, fading to scattered areas of red and black pigment, and light encrustations mostly within interior cavity, otherwise intact and excellent. Great remains of black and red pigment throughout. Fragment of a very old inventory label present on lower body.