Cosmetic Box from the tomb of Sennedjem

Period: New Kingdom, Ramesside

Dynasty: Dynasty 19

Reign: reign of Ramesses II

Date: ca. 1279–1213 B.C.

Geography: From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Deir el-Medina, Tomb of Sennedjem (TT 1), Egyptian Antiquities Service/Maspero excavations, 1885–86

Medium: Gessoed and painted wood

Dimensions: H. 16 cm (6 5/16 in); w. 33 cm (13 in); d. 33 cm (13 in)

Credit Line: Funds from various donors, 1886

Accession Number: 86.1.8


The lid of this box, which is attached at the back with horizontal pivots, opens to reveal four compartments for cosmetics. The box could be secured by winding a piece of twine around the two knobs at the front. Its elaborate decoration was intended to imitate more expensive boxes inlaid with ebony, ivory, and perhaps cedar or mahogany.
The box is from the tomb of Sennedjem, who was an artist living in the time of Ramesses II. Other objects in the collection that were discovered in the same tomb are numbered 86.1.1–86.1.29