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Glass vases.

“stibium," and the latter

i mestemet, "stibium.' The use of glass for vases is very ancient, and Dr. Birch states that the earliest dated example of Egyptian glass is a small dark blue fragment inscribed with the prenomen of Antef III., of the XIth dynasty. The next oldest example is a small vase or jug with one handle, of a fine turquoisecoloured, opaque glass, ornamented in yellow, with a border round the neck, and three trees round the sides, and inscribed with the prenomen of Thothmes III., B.C. 1600 ; the handle has stripes of white and dark blue, and round the neck where it joins the thick part of the vase, is a row of white spots. The vase is 33 in. high, and its greatest diameter is 14 in.; the British Museum number is 4762. Vases made of variegated and striped glass are represented on the walls of tombs of the XIXth and XXth dynasties, and it seems that the terra-cotta and wood vases, or models of them, belong to that period. The next oldest examples are the small black, opaque glass vases, J, mottled with white spots, which formed part of the funereal paraphernalia of the princess Nesi-Chensu, about B.C. 1000. Transparent glass seems not to have been made in Egypt much earlier than the XXVIth dynasty. Vases in faïence glazed with a blue or green colour are at least as old as the XIXth dynasty; a beautiful example of this date is B.M, No. 4796, with lotus leaves, rosettes, and a line of hieroglyphics around the outer edge, in white or light yellow, upon a lavender-coloured glazed ground. The inscription records the name and titles of Rameses II., about B.C. 1333. About B.C. 1000, small vases and libation jars 3 were glazed with a beautiful light bluish-green; the vases of Nesi-Chensu are fine examples of this work (B.M. No. 17,402, and 13,152). During the XXVIth dynasty flat, circular, convex vases or bottles made of glazed faïence became common; the neck and lip were in the form of the capital of a papyrus column, with an ape at each side, and where the

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Vases in glazed faïence.

1 Catalogue of the Egyptian Antiquities at Alnwick Castle, p. 179, and Wilkinson's Ancient Egyptians, Vol. II: p. 142.


“Beautiful god, Men-cheper-Rā, giver of life.” The No. of the B.M. vase is 17,043.


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body of the vase joins the neck it is ornamented with rows of inscribed papyrus flowers and pendants. On the upper part of the flat band which goes round the vase, is inscribed Vio “May Ptah open a happy new year for its owner,” and to

“May Sechet open a happy new year for its owner." These vases were probably given as gifts, and they all appear to come from Lower Egypt. The oldest vases known are made of terra-cotta and red earthenware, and are of various shapes and sizes. They were sometimes glazed or painted and varnished, to imitate porphyry, diorite, and variegated stone and glass, and sometimes they were ornamented with floral designs, figures of animals, geometrical patterns, etc., etc. Vases in this material were inscribed, in hieratic or hieroglyphic, with the names and titles of the persons in whose tombs they were found, and sometimes with sepulchral inscriptions. It is not possible, in the absence of inscriptions, to date terra-cotta vases accurately, and all the evidence forthcoming tends to prove that the various kinds of vases which were thought to belong to the XVIIIth or XIXth dynasty belong to the XXIInd or later.


The Egyptian lady, in making her toilette, made use of the following objects :

Mirror, in Egyptian far og un-șrå, “ listing up the Egyptian face," or M 8 maa-hra, “ object for seeing the face.” The mirror was made of bronze, and in shape was nearly round (B.M. No. 2728a), or oval (B.M. No. 2733), or oval flattened (B.M. No. 2732), or pear-shaped (B.M. No. 27286). Mirrors were kept in bronze cases or wooden boxes. The handles were made of ivory (B.M. Nos. 22, 830, 2734), wood, bronze, or faïence (B.M. No. 2736), and were usually in the shape of the lotus in flower 8. Wooden handles were inlaid with gold (B.M. No. 2728a), or were painted with the colours of the lotus plant and flower (B.M. No. 18,179); they


L. M.

Description o mirrors.

were sometimes square, and sometimes terminated in a
hawk's head (B.M. No. 2733), or they were carved in the
shape of a figure of Bes (B.M. No. 27.28b). Bronze handles
of mirrors were also made in the shape of the lotus plant
and flower, but the flat space where the handle widens
out into the flower was ornamented with the head of Hathor
in relief (B.M. No. 2728a); they were also made in the form
of figures of women, with their arms raised (B.M. Nos. 20,773,
27.18a). The mirror was further ornamented by supporting
the bronze disk on each side with a pair of uraei (B.M. No.
20,756), or with a hawk of Horus (B.M. No. 2731). The
metal of which mirrors are made has been shown to be
almost pure copper, a very small percentage of tin and other
substances being present. The use of mirrors in Egypt
appears to be of great antiquity, but the date of their first
appearance is not known exactly. The greater diameter
of the mirror varies from three to twelve inches.
Tweezers. Pairs of tweezers, for removing hairs from
the head or face, were made of bronze, the ends being, at
times, in the form of human hands; they vary in length from
about two to six inches.
Hair-pins are usually made of wood, bone, ivory, metal,
or alabaster, and vary in length and thickness; the heads
are sometimes ornamented with gold and silver bands or
heads, and sometimes terminate in the figure of an animal
or bird.
Combs are made of wood or ivory, and when they have
but a single row of teeth the back is carved into serrated
edges, and its sides are ornamented with various devices,
annular or otherwise. Double combs, i.e., combs with two
rows of tecth, have the one row of teeth thicker and longer
than the other. Combs used for merely ornamental purposes
terminate with figures of animals, etc., etc. The date of the
first appearance of combs in Egypt is unknown, and it
has been thought that they were not introduced until a
comparatively late period.
Fan. The feathers of the fan were inserted in a handle
made of wood or ivory, or both, having the same shape as

the handles of mirrors s: both sides of the handle were

vases and

forms of

sometimes ornamented with heads of Hathor in relief (B.M. No. 20,767).

Kohl pots. Of all the necessaries for the toilet these Stibium objects are the most commonly found, and the varieties tubes. known are very many and very interesting. The object of the kohl jar was to hold the kohl, cr stibium, or antimony, or copper, with which ladies were wont to stain the eyelids and eyebrows. The simplest form consisted of a hollow tube of alabaster, steatite, glass, wood, or ivory, from three to six inches high; alabaster tubes are usually uninscribed (B.M. No. 2574), wooden tubes are made in the shape of a column with a palm leaf capital (B.M. No. 2591), ivory or bone tubes are Different sometimes made in the form of figures of Bes (B.M.

stibium No. 2571), and sometimes are ornamented with spirals vases. (B.M. No. 6184). Faïence tubes are white, blue, or green, and have inscriptions on them in black; fine examples of this class are B.M. No. 2572b, inscribed with the prenomen of Amenophis III., and the name of his wife Thi; and B.M. No. 2573, inscribed with the prenomen of Tut-ānch-Åmen, and the name of his wife Anch-nes-Amen. B.M. No. 2589, is a fine example of kohl tube in glass, made in the form of a column with a palm leaf capital. Kohl tubes were sometimes made of the common reed, and carried in a leather bag (B.M. No. 12,539); the single tube was sometimes represented as being held by a monkey or some other animal (B.M. No. 21,895). The tube was often formed of a hollow sunk in a jar made of alabaster, stone, steatite, granite, or porphyry ; steatite jars are glazed, and ornamented with

and ß in hollow work (B.M. No. 2645). Such jars often

had the rim, which supported the cover, turned separately, and in the centre of the cover, inside, a small boss was made to enable it to rest firmly on the jar ; these jars rested upon square stands supported by four legs. The outsides of porphyry jars are sometimes ornamented with raised figures of apes and uræi. Kohl jars had sometimes two tubes, and Stibium

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i B.M. No. 2736 is inscribed “Menthu-em-ḥāt, son of Heq-ab, lord of watchful devotion.” 2 See B.M. No. 24,391, made of light blue glass banded with gold.

were made of wood, with a movable cover on a pivot (B.M. No. 2595), of obsidian, with a figure of Bes in relief (B.M. No. 2599), of ivory, with each tube in the form of a lotus column (B.M. 22,839), and of stone. Kohl pots with three tubes were also made, and an interesting example in terracotta is B.M. No. 2612, which is in the form of a “triple”

Kohl pots with four and five tubes are very common in wood, and several examples exist in faïence. B.M. No. 2605 is inscribed on each tube, and contains two, or more, different powders; and B.M. 2606a, with five tubes, probably a votive offering by a friend or relative of the deceased Amāsis, a scribe and overseer of works, is inscribed :


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The following texts are inscribed upon a remarkable brown wood stibium-holder, in the possession of Sir Francis Grenfell, G.C.B. It contains five tubes, each of which held

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? These inscriptions show that one kind of eye-paint was to be used from the first to the fourth month of the inundation season ; a second from the first to the fourth month of the season of coming forth ; a third from the first to the fourth month of the period of growing; and also that a fourth was to be used every day.

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