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Cosmetic Box with a Swivel Top

Period:
New Kingdom
Dynasty:
Dynasty 18, early
Date:
ca. 1550–1458 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt, Upper Egypt; Thebes, el-Asasif, Courtyard CC 41, Pit 3, Burial B 4, Between head of coffin and wall, MMA 1915–1916
Medium:
Ivory, Egyptian Blue
Dimensions:
H. 3.3cm (1 5/16 in); l. 9.2 cm (3 5/8 in); 7.7 cm (3 1/16 in)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1916
Accession Number:
16.10.425
  • Description

    Cosmetic containers made of wood, bone, or ivory must have been used for storing fairly dry substances such as powder or rouge. This little box consists of a hollowed round lower part with two squared protrusions, one at the back and one at the front. The shape of the flat lid follows that of the box, but its circular central part is smaller than the lid and covers only the container's cavity. A peg inserted through the rear protrusions of the lid and box serves as a swivel pin for the lid, while a knob on the protrusion at the front of the box once corresponded to a now-missing knob on the front part of the lid. As usual for such containers, a string wound around the two knobs fastened the two pieces together. On the upper surface of the lid a flower petal design surrounded by a zigzag circle is incised. The incised lines of the floral motif must have been made with the help of a compass. They are filled with Egyptian blue.

  • Provenance

    Museum excavations, 1915–16. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds, 1916.

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
547031

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