An Egyptian Blacktop Redware Vessel, Pre-Dynastic Period, 3600-3500 B.C.

This is a great example of black-topped red pottery of pre-dynastic Amratian design. The sides of the vessel are very smooth, expanding toward the rim and tapering toward a narrower, flat base. The exterior is coated with a thin red iron-oxide wash that was burnished to a lustrous finish. The black top is carbon, produced by subjecting the top of the vessel to the actions of dense smoke. The vessel was made by hand using coil construction (the process is still visible on the inside).

Called B-ware by W.M. Flinders Petrie because of their distinctive black rims, black-topped beakers and bowls made of riverine clay are a hallmark of the Naqada Ic-IIb Period.  For very similar examples refer:

1) Hayes, William "The Scepter of Egypt, A background study of the Egyptian Antiquities in The Metropolitan Museum of Art" Volume I, Figure 7 page 16;  

2) Cleveland Museum "Catalogue of Egyptian Art" 1999 #48;

3) Detroit Institute of Arts, McKissick Museum and the Earth Sciences and Resources Institute of the University of South Carolina,"The First Egyptians", page 52.

Dimensions:  Height: 5.4 inches (13.7 cm)

Condition:The vessel is complete, it has been professionally rejoined from two pieces, minor cosmetic overpainting to blend the joins, there are small losses to the rim that have been professionally restored. Presents very well and is a lovely example of type.

Provenance:  The John J. Slocum Collection: Mr. Slocum (1914-1997) collected most of his antiquities while serving as US cultural attache to Egypt in the 1960s. Later, he served as Assistant to the Director of The Smithsonian, was appointed by President Reagan to the Presidential Cultural Property Advisory Committee, and was a Trustee Emeritus of the Archaeological Institute of America. He was a well-respected scholar/collector, whose medieval crusader coins were sold in a single-owner sale at Sotheby's, London in 1997.

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