The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of June 21, 2024

Cosmetic Vessel

Cosmetic Vessel

c. 1980–1901 BCE
Diameter: 7 cm (2 3/4 in.); Overall: 6.8 cm (2 11/16 in.)
Location: 107 Egyptian


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.
  • Formerly in the collection of John G. Ross (purchased 1952 in Cairo; on loan to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in the 1960s); sold: New York, Sotheby Parke Bernet. Purchased from James Freeman, Kyoto
  • Lee, Sherman E. “Year in Review for 1982.” The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 70, no. 1 (January 1983): 3–55.
    Published as King's Offering Jar. Reproduced: p. 6, no. 5; mentioned: p. 50, no. 5
    Kozloff, Arielle P. “Egyptian Stone Vessels in Cleveland.” The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 73, no. 8 (October 1986): 327–339. Mentioned and Reproduced: p. 330-331, fig. 10
    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. 162, color p. 50; Mentioned: p. 162-163
  • Egyptomania: Fashion's Conflicted Obsession. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (April 1, 2023-January 28, 2024).
    The Year in Review for 1982. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (January 5-February 6, 1983).
    CMA, 5 January-6 February 1983, The Year in Review for 1982, cat.: CMA Bulletin 70, no. 1 (January 1983), no. 5, illus. p. 6
  • {{cite web|title=Cosmetic Vessel|url=false|author=|year=c. 1980–1901 BCE|access-date=21 June 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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