AN EGYPTIAN SCHIST COSMETIC PALETTE, PREDYNASTIC PERIOD, NAQADA II, CIRCA 3500-3200 B.C.

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AN EGYPTIAN SCHIST COSMETIC PALETTE, PREDYNASTIC PERIOD, NAQADA II, CIRCA 3500-3200 B.C.

Dimensions: 14.4 x 7.4 cm; 5 5/8 x 2 7/8 in

Price available on request

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PROVENANCE
Marianne Maspero, Paris, acquired in 1980
Private collection, France

CATALOGUE NOTE
Cosmetic palettes appeared in Egypt since the Neolithic period. Their function was immediately clear to archaeologists: the smooth surfaces often showed traces of color, which revealed that they were used for cosmetic purposes, such as grinding the pigments that would later be applied to the face and body. The material used to carved these objects was schist.
The palettes produced during the Nadaqa period were often carved in a rough rectangular shape, while later on they would take on rhomboid or scutiform forms.
The stylized decorations of animals (in the present case, birds), pre-announces the passage from the utilitarian use of these objects to the production of real works of art, almost to a votive purpose, and they were often found near the face or at the hands of the deceased.

For all enquires, please contact ancientsculpture@sothebys.com

Currently Available for Private Sale

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