Kohl Flask

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 453

This charming object was designed to hold kohl, a black cosmetic powder applied around the eyes. In the past, kohl was widely used by men and children as well as women. It was thought not only to accentuate the beauty of the eyes, but also to guard against the glaring sun, ward off evil, and discourage eye disease. The narrow drill hole at the top of this flask would have accommodated a slender stick to collect the cosmetic.

Kohl Flask, Soapstone; carved, drilled

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