Black steatite statuette of a girl holding a kohl pot

From Thebes, Egypt
12th Dynasty, about 1963-1787 BC

Ornamental cosmetic container

This small figurine shows a young girl squatting and holding a pot. The container was intended for holding a cosmetic, most probably black kohl, used as eye paint. The pot probably once had a lid and seems to have been used, since it shows signs of wear. The girl has her hair arranged in a plait down the back of her head, from which hangs a fish pendant. Around her waist she wears a cowrie-shell girdle that may have been worn as a protective amulet, especially during pregnancy. Other examples of this type of vessel are known, including some from the capital city of Lisht in the Twelfth Dynasty (1985-1795 BC).

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More information


C.A.R. Andrews, Ancient Egyptian jewellery (London, The British Museum Press, 1996)

E.R. Russmann, Eternal Egypt: masterworks of (University of California Press, 2001)

J. Bourriau, Pharaohs and mortals: Egyptian (Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 1988)


Height: 7.800 cm

Museum number

EA 2572


Acquired in 1835 at the sale of the Salt Collection


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