A large Egyptian Black-topped Redware Vessel, Pre-Dynastic Period, 3600-3400 BCE

Object No: EP1803

$15,000 USD

This very large and impressive vessel is a superb example of Amratian-period black-topped red pottery. The vessel stands on a small, flat base tapering outward to a rounded shoulder under a wide mouth with slightly flared rim. The exterior is beautifully coated with a thin red iron-oxide wash that was burnished to a lustrous finish, probably by using a pebble. The blacktop 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: 11.8 inches (30 cm)

Condition:   Aside from a small repair to the rim, the vessel is intact and of museum quality, with some areas of the blacktop showing an almost metallic sheen. The burnished red surface of the vessel exhibits a fine craquelure where preserved, with losses relating to erosion or soluble salt efflorescence. A definite highlight of any Ancient Egyptian collection.

Provenance:  Private Californian collection, acquired prior 1972 and then by descent, thereafter private collection of a Florida doctor from 2003.


Sands of Time provides a lifetime, unconditional guarantee of authenticity and provenance. Every artifact purchased from us is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity, stating culture, provenance and age. Furthermore, we conduct due diligence to ensure the item, to the best of our knowledge, has not been illegally obtained from an excavation, architectural monument, public institution or private property. Wherever possible, reference is made to existing collections or publications.

Sands of Time Antiquities are proud to uphold the following Code of Conduct:

  • We undertake to make, to the best of our ability, all purchases in good faith.
  • We undertake not to purchase or sell objects until we have established, to the best of our ability, that such objects were not stolen from excavations, architectural monuments, public institutions or private property.
  • We will not dismember and sell separately parts of one complete object.
  • We undertake to the best of ability to keep objects together that were originally meant to be kept together.
  • As appropriate we will keep photographic records of objects prior to repair and restoration, to be honest and open by describing in writing the amount of repair and restoration undertaken to a prospective purchaser.
  • To the best of our ability, we guarantee authenticity and provenance of all objects offered for sale.
Sands of Time offer a very flexible layaway payment plan for all objects offered for sale on our website.  Here's how it works:
  • Deposit:  A deposit of 15% of the total price is required upon purchase.  
  • Checkout:  Order through our website and select the "layaway" option at checkout.
  • Flexibility:   You are not restricted to a set monthly payment; pay what you wish when you wish, however your balance must be paid within six months of the order date or you risk forfeiture.
  • Title:  Property title remains with Sands of Time Antiquities, Inc. until payment is made in full.
  • Shipment:  Once payment is complete, we will ship your order by the next business day.  

Should you cancel your layaway purchase, a 15% restocking-fee will apply. If you exchange or trade-up the objet purchased while it is on layaway, the restocking fee for the original purchase will not apply.  If you would like to take advantage of our layaway system or would like to discuss an alternative option that better suits your budget, please contact us via e-mail or call 1-202-342-0518. 

You may also like

Recently viewed