Glass kohl tube in the form of a palm column

From Egypt
18th Dynasty, reign of Amenhotep III or early Amenhotep IV, around 1340 BC

Ancient Egyptian makeup accessory

Eye-paint (kohl) was an important cosmetic for the ancient Egyptians. It was usually stored tube-shaped containers, which allowed the applicator (kohl stick) to be easily inserted. This kohl tube has been designed to resemble a palm column with a flared top. The body of the tube has a conventional smooth finish but the strips of glass decorating the flared top of the palm capital have been left proud of the surface.

Palm columns appear in temples of the Old Kingdom (about 2613-2160 BC). Later, Amenhotep III (1390-1352 BC) revived the form in his temple at Soleb in Nubia. Amenhotep's temple was devoted to a deified form of the king, and it is possible that the shape of this kohl tube may have been connected with this. The tube may also have been made in the glass workshop at Amenhotep's palace at Malqata.

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More information


A.P. Kozloff and B.M. Bryan, Egypts dazzling sun: Amenhotep (Cleveland Museum of Art, 1992)


Length: 10.000 cm (tube)
Length: 10.000 cm (tube)

Museum number

EA 2589


Salt Collection


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