Cosmetic set of Kohl Tube and Applicator, Razor, Tweezers, Whetstone, and Mirror, Bronze or copper alloy, stone, ivory, wood

Cosmetic set of Kohl Tube and Applicator, Razor, Tweezers, Whetstone, and Mirror

New Kingdom
Dynasty 18, early
reign of Ahmose–Joint reign
ca. 1550–1458 B.C.
From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Asasif, Tomb CC 37, Hall (C), burial 16, Carnarvon/Carter excavations, 1911
Bronze or copper alloy, stone, ivory, wood
mirror (26.7.837a): L. 9.1 cm (3 9/16 in); W. 6.8 cm (2 11/16 in)
razor (26.7.837b): L. 18.4 cm (7 1/4 in.); W. 2.2 cm (7/8 in.); Th. 0.1 cm (1/16 in.)
tweezers (26.7.837c): L. 7.2 cm (2 13/16 in); W. 1.3 cm (1/2 in); H. 0.7 cm (1/4 in)
whetstone (26.7.837d): L. 9.9 cm (3 7/8 in); W. 1.8 cm (11/16 in); H. 1 cm (3/8 in)
kohl tube (26.7.1447): h. 7.8 cm (3 1/16 in)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1926
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 114
In 1908-1914, Howard Carter and the Earl of Carnarvon excavated in a section of the Theban necropolis known as lower Asasif. This area contained a Middle Kingdom tomb with a huge courtyard that was reused as a cemetery for about a century between late Dynasty 17 and the early joint reign of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III in Dynasty 18 (ca. 1575-1475 B.C.). Carter and Carnarvon excavated half of the cemetery before moving on the Valley of the Kings. In 1915-1916, the Museum’s Egyptian Expedition excavated the other half. The objects displayed in gallery 114 come from both of these excavations.

This toiletry set includes a tube for the eye cosmetic kohl, a razor, tweezers, a whetstone, and a mirror. The objects were in a rush basket found during the Carter/Carnarvon excavations.
Excavated by Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter, 1911; acquired by Carnarvon in the division of finds. Carnarvon Collection purchased by the Museum from Lady Carnarvon, 1926.

Carnarvon, 5th Earl of and Howard Carter 1912. Five Years' Explorations at Thebes. p. 72.

Scott, Nora E. 1944. Home Life of the Ancient Egyptians: A Picture Book. New York: Plantin Press, Fig. 26, B-D.

Hayes, William C. 1959. Scepter of Egypt II: A Background for the Study of the Egyptian Antiquities in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Hyksos Period and the New Kingdom (1675-1080 B.C.). Cambridge, Mass.: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p.21, p. 64, fig 33.