An Egyptian tile with an inscribed back, Early Dynastic Period (2592-2566 BC)

This tile of pale blue glazed faience in the shape of a slightly convex rectangle, thicker in the center and tapering towards the edges. A smaller rectangle, raised in the back center of the tile is pierced longitudinally and was used to attach them to the chamber walls in multiple rows, creating a shimmering blue frame around reliefs of the king. The back of the tile, that features an incised glyph, also has white deposits indicating the presence of some form of gesso or similar binding agent. 

Faience tiles were manufactured in bulk and used as surface decoration, a famous example being Djoser’s Third Dynasty Step Pyramid at Saqqara which is decorated with an enormous number of such tiles. 

Dimensions: Height: 1 1/2 inches (3.8 cm), length: 2 5/8 inches (6.3 cm)

Condition:  Intact and in very good condition overall.  Museum quality custom mount.

Provenance:  Private collection of Robert J. Molnar, Hillsdale, NJ, acquired 1960s.


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