constructed from grano-diorite from the Aswan area, with typical black and white "salt and pepper" appearance, this conical beaker features a flat base and flaring sides.
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.
cf. Petrie, W.M.F. "Stone and Metal Vases," pl. III, no. 67 , for related examples. See also, Aston, "Ancient Egyptian Stone Vessels," pl. 14a, p. 212.
Condition: Some slight surface pitting to one area that does not detract, intact and in excellent condition overall.
Dimensions: Height: 8.25 cm ( 3.25 inches), Diameter: 11.43 cm (4.5 inches)
Provenance: S.Bono private collection, acquired from the English trade in 2004.