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ES1312

An early Dynastic Egyptian Stone Bowl, ca. 3100-2900 BC

a large and beautiful example of Egyptian stonework, this vessel stands on a flat base with a gently sloping floor that eventually curves inward to create an overhanging rim and a concave tondo, the schist is a subtle and lovely greenish-gray.  

Since the Predynastic period, Egyptian workshops had been manufacturing stone vessels for everyday use, for ritual purposes such as foundation deposits and temple votives, and as essential equipment accompanying the deceased on their journey to the afterlife.  They were clearly meant to contain costly substances (as perfumes, unguents, oils, beverages, food) but there is little doubt they had great value on their own as ornamental and luxury objects.  The process of extraction, transportation and workmanship of hard stone required hours of labour and were therefore reserved  for social elites such as the royal family and high ranking officials .  The variety and complexity of the containers’ shapes and their polished finish, such as this fine example, confirm these ancient craftsmen were the genius stoneworkers of their world.

Condition:  Loss to one side professionally restored, otherwise in very good condition overall.  A truly lovely piece!

Dimensions: Diameter: 19.5 cm (7.7 inches)

Provenance:  Private Virginia, USA collection since 2011, previously a private English collection, Devon acquired between 1970-1983.

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