Wooden cosmetic pot of Ahmose of Peniati

Perhaps from Thebes, Egypt
18th dynasty, about 1500-1440 BC.

Kohl pot, with texts

The owner of this object, Ahmose of Peniati, served as overseer of works to many of the kings of the early Eighteenth Dynasty, from Amenhotep I to Thutmose III. This pot for kohl, a black cosmetic for the eyes, is likely to have come from his tomb. The pot is divided into five compartments, four of which have associated texts on the outside. One says 'fine eye paint for every day', while the other three refer to the beginning and the end of each of the three main Egyptian seasons of four months each. This suggests that different forms of the cosmetic might have been used at different times of the year. A small protrusion on the top formed a swivel for the lid, which has not survived, while on the outside is a knob for tying it shut. Between two of the tubes is a metal loop which would have held the applicator stick.

The British Museum's collection contains other objects of Ahmose, including a shabti and some letters on papyrus, and he is also known from inscriptions in a shrine at Gebel Silsila, the site of the sandstone quarries north of Aswan.

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More information


E. Brovarski and others (eds), Egypts golden age: the art of (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1982)

S.R.K. Glanville, 'The letters of Aahmose of Peniati', Journal of Egyptian Archaeol-4, 14 (1928)


Height: 9.000 cm

Museum number

EA 5337



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