The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of July 12, 2024

Kohl Container

Kohl Container

1540–1296 BCE
Overall: 4.3 x 2.5 x 1.8 cm (1 11/16 x 1 x 11/16 in.); Applicator: 9 cm (3 9/16 in.)
Location: not on view


Cosmetic vessels would have once contained scented oils or ointments used for beautifying the body, while kohl containers held the eye paint seen in many depictions of ancient Egyptians. Galena, a mineral used in eye paint, helped reflect the sun and repelled insects and tiny organisms that could cause eye disease and blindness. Cosmetics were an essential element of daily life and associated with upholding the ancient Egyptians’ high standards of cleanliness.
  • Purchased in Egypt by Lucy Olcott Perkins through Henry W. Kent
  • Berman, Lawrence M., and Kenneth J. Bohač. Catalogue of Egyptian Art: The Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland, OH: Cleveland Museum of Art, 1999 Reproduced: p. 305; Mentioned: p. 305
  • Egyptomania: Fashion's Conflicted Obsession. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (April 1, 2023-January 28, 2024).
  • {{cite web|title=Kohl Container|url=false|author=|year=1540–1296 BCE|access-date=12 July 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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