An Egyptian Andesite Porphyry Vessel, Dynasty 3, Reign of Djoser, ca. 2667 to 2648 BC

Of elegant form, the squat body with wide flat disc rim offset from the shoulders, on a rounded base.

Egypt's wealth of natural resources providing a variety of form, color, and texture with seemingly limitless diversity from semiprecious stones-such as amethyst, cornelian, jasper, rock crystal, and turquoise-to rocks-such as diorite, quartzite, alabaster (calcite), gneiss, and granite. In the earliest periods of Egyptian history, these materials were carved, ground, polished, and incised to create vessels bowls, jars, basins, and beakers-as lasting gifts for both divinities and for the spirits of the dead.  The heyday of Egyptian stone vessel production was between the late Naqada Period and the end of the Old Kingdom, when large numbers of stone vessels were produced fully utilizing the stone variety available. Such vessels have mostly been found in royal tombs, the majority being small, just a few inches tall and wide.   These stone vessels are of a simplicity that appeals strongly to our modern sense of beauty. 

Dimensions: Height: 5 inches (13 cm) Diameter: 8 inches (20cm)

Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall.

Provenance: Private collection of Stanislav Kovar (1889 - 1962, ) a Czechoslovakian diplomat who lead a distinguished diplomatic career as a Consul in London (1923-25), Consul in Algeria (1927-34).  An amateur collector, Kovar assembled his collection while posted abroad, indulging his love of antiquities while serving as Consul General in Alexandria, Egypt from 1934 - 1947. His war and travel diaries, along with an unpublished book he wrote about Egypt, record the many people he met counting among his friends field archaeologists, ethnographers, and museum curators. After is death in 1962, Stanislav’s remaining family found Communist Czechoslovakia a difficult place to live. In 1968, his granddaughter Ludmila, defected to neighboring Austria where she remained for a year before eventually moving to Australia. In 1969, Ludmila’s mother, Eva Christova, followed her daughter, departing Prague for Australia via Hamburg leaving many belongings and property behind. In 1970, Eva received confirmation her 820-kilogram container of personal effects, which included much of her father’s remaining collection of art and antiquities, had arrived safely in Melbourne. 

The Australian Ministry for the Arts, the government department that administers the Moveable Cultural Heritage Act in Australia, has confirmed the history of the collection and provenance includes the Prague official Bill of Lading for the shipment arriving in Melbourne on the 16 June 1970.


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