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A large Egyptian Grey Schist Bowl, Dynasty 2, ca. 2775–2650 BCE
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A large Egyptian Grey Schist Bowl, Dynasty 2, ca. 2775–2650 BCE

This deep bowl has extremely thin sides that are convex in shape and expands toward a high shoulder and a wide, pronounced incurving rim.  The base is small in proportion to the width of the mouth, circular and flat.  The interior is well hollowed with a slightly sunken, circular foot.  Both the interior and exterior are finely polished by hand.  

The high level of skill is evident in this well crafted vessel and the high polish of the stone make this an excellent example of a bowl type that appears in Dynasty I to dominate stone vessel forms by the reign of  Khasekhemwy (c. 2775– c. 2650 BCE).   Such vessels  were clearly meant to contain costly substances (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 stone required hours of labour and was therefore reserved for social elites such as the royal family and high ranking officials. The variety and complexity of containers’ shapes and their polished finish, such as this fine example, confirm these ancient craftsmen were the genius stoneworkers of their world.

Condition:  The bowl is complete, old restoration work with heavy overpainting has been removed to show the beauty of the original stonework.  It has now been professionally conserved from multiple pieces with light cosmetic overpainting using museum techniques and will now last another 5,000 years.  A lovely example.

Dimensions:  Diameter: 12.5 inches (32cm)  Height: 5 inches (12.4cm)  

Provenance:  Private collection of Stanislav Kovar (1889 - 1962 ). Czechoslovakian diplomat and amateur collector, Kovar assembled his collection while serving as Consul General in Alexandria, Egypt from 1934 - 1947. 

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