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common: t|J, fi, 55, g=, ">Q,0, O, t7, Vases were Useof
IX k vases.
placed in the tombs to contain the offerings of wine, oil, unguents, spices, and other offerings made to the temples, or to the dead in their tombs. Among hard stones capable of receiving a high polish, granite, diorite and alabaster were those most commonly used for making vases. Granite and diorite vases are usually without inscriptions, and were made during all periods of Egyptian history. Vases of alabaster are very much more numerous, and as this material was comparatively easily worked, and readily lent itself to form symmetrical and beautiful shapes, it was a great favourite with the Egyptians. They were sometimes inscribed on the front, the flat part of the rim, or the top of the cover, with inscriptions recording the names and titles of the deceased persons with whom they were buried ; thus they are valuable as giving the Value of names of kings and officials of high rank, pedigrees, etc., and as lions'on showing at the same time the wonderful skill of the Egyptian vases" alabaster worker at a period nearly four thousand years B.C. Alabaster vases were in use from the IVth-XXVIth dynasty, and the Persian kings had their names inscribed upon them in Egyptian and cuneiform. Arragonite, or zoned alabaster, was used for large vases and liquid measures; a beautiful example of this material is B.M. No. 4839, which has two handles and a cover, and is inscribed with its capacity
"eight hen and three quarters." Vases in glazed
****** mi 111
steatite are not common, and I believe the oldest to be B.M. No. 4762, which is inscribed with the name of Thothmes I., B.C. 1633. Vases in bronze are ancient, tolerably numerous, and of various shapes; among them must be classed those, in the shape of buckets with handles, which are ornamented with scenes in relief, in which the deceased is represented adoring various deities; they belong chiefly to the period of the XXVIth dynasty. Models of vases in wood were also Models made and placed in the tombs. They were sometimes ofvases* painted to resemble glass (B.M. No. 9529^), and were sometimes covered with plaster and gilded, examples of which are B.M. No. 95292 and 9529// both were made for the tomb of Rameses II.; the former is inscribed «atchu,
"stibium," and the latter
i mestemet, "stibium.''
The use of glass for vases is very ancient, and Dr. Birch states that 1 the earliest dated example of Egyptian glass is a small dark blue fragment inscribed with the prenomen of Antef III., of the Xlth 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.,8 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 3^ in. high, and its greatest diameter is I-j^j in. \ the British Museum number is 4762. Vases made of variegated and striped glass are represented on the walls of tombs of the XlXth 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, vj, mottled with white spots, which formed part of the funereal paraphernalia of the princess Nesi-Chensu, about B.C. IOOO.3 Transparent glass seems not to have been made in Egypt much earlier than the XXVIth dynasty. Vases in faience glazed with a blue or green colour are at least as old as the XlXth 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. IOOO, small vases XJ and libation jars 'Q 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 farence 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
1 Catalogue of the Egyptian Antiquities at Alnwick Castle, p. 179, and Wilkinson's Ancient Egyptians, Vol. II; p. 142.
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
° ^ \/ IJ "May Ptah open a happy new year for
its owner," and ^ \f | J "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 XlXth dynasty belong to the XXIInd or later.
Objects For The Toilet.
The Egyptian lady, in making her toilette, made use of the following objects :—
Mirror, in Egyptian * Q un-hrd, "lifting up the Egyptian
~*~v* I 1 mirrors.
face," or —^ '^s^^.T? maa-lir^i "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. 2728^). Mirrors were kept in bronze cases or wooden boxes. The handles were made of ivory (B.M. Nos. 22, 830, 2734), wood, bronze, or faience (B.M. No. 2736), and were usually
in the shape of the lotus in flower J. 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 B. M. Q
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. 2728^). Bronze handles of mirrors were also made in the shape 01 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, 2718a). 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. Fairs 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 teeth, 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 ivoiy, or both, having the same shape as the handles of mirrors T; both sides of the handle were 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 ^ubes/""1 known are very many and very interesting. The object of the kohl jar was to hold the kohl, or 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,1 glass,2 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. [°1TM„m''' No. 2571), and sometimes are ornamented with spirals vases. (B.M. No. 6184). FaTence tubes are white, blue, or green, and have inscriptions on them in black; fine examples of this class are B.M. No. 2572^, inscribed with the prenomen of Amcnophis III., and the name of his wife Thi; and B.M. No. 2573, inscribed with the prenomen of Tut-anch-Amen, 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) > ^e 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
J and P 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 uraei. Kohl jars had sometimes two tubes, and Stibium
j £ vases
'B.M. No. 2736 is inscribed g^^^^J^^-^^ morefhan
"Menlhu-em-hat, son of Heo,-ab, lord of watchlul devotion.
* See B.M. No. 24,391, made of light blue glass banded with gold.