Egypt, Late Dynastic Period, 26th to 31st Dynasty, ca. 664 to 332 BCE. A splendid piriform jar, hand-carved from sandy-beige alabaster with pale peach and creamy white spotted and banded inclusions. The bulbous body rests upon a planar base, tapering to a corseted neck with a flared, broad rim, drilled round interior, and a discoid lid. The interior cavity was drilled out using progressively finer drill bits and abrasive sand, and the protruding rings denote the shallow depths to which individual layers could be bored out. A superb stone vessel with expert artistry. Alabaster, which is a form of gypsum or calcite, was quarried along the length of the Nile River, from Giza to just south of Luxor, and the Egyptians made carved alabaster forms famous throughout the ancient world. A thousand years later, while less common than black-figure or red-figure techniques, the Greeks made vessels like this out of pottery and painted them white to imitate this beautiful stone. Alabaster jars, such as this one, were used to store unguents or ointments for tomb offerings. A truly stunning example from ancient Egypt! Size: 5.25" in diameter x 6" H (13.3 cm x 15.2 cm)
Provenance: private New York, New York, USA collection; ex-private prominent D.K. collection, New York, USA, acquired in the 2000s
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Collection label on base. A few repairs to rim and lid with paint visible. Expected abrasions and miniscule chips/nicks commensurate with age. Otherwise, excellent with lovely earthen deposits on interior.