Kohl Tube Inscribed for Amunhotep III and Queen Tiye
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
Shaped like a slender reed flute, this tube once contained eye paint called kohl that would have been applied with a wooden or faience stick. Its form may refer to Hathor, a goddess associated with both reeds and music. One of several examples inscribed with the names of the king and queen, this tube was probably a royal possession or a gift to a loyal courtier.
ca. 1390-1353 B.C.E.
5 5/16 in. (13.5 cm)
7/8 x 5 5/16 in. (2.2 x 13.5 cm) (show scale)
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
Deep blue glazed faience kohl tube. On one side of the cylinder a column is inlaid in light blue. This inscription is placed within a light blue frame,. It reads “The Good God, Lord of the Two Lands, Neb ma’at-re (Amenhotep III). The Kingdom, Wife Tiy, granted life”. A shallow indentation forms a border at the bottom of the tube.
Condition: Small cracks at bottom; blue glaze missing on half of the “neb” sign.
Kohl Tube Inscribed for Amunhotep III and Queen Tiye, ca. 1390-1353 B.C.E. Faience, 5 5/16 in. (13.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.598E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.598E_front_bw.jpg)
front, 37.598E_front_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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All of the objects in this case speak to the proliferation of fine decorative objects produced during the reign of Amunhotep III. Kohl is a cosmetic used for lining eyes in ancient Egypt and today. A tube like this would have come with an applicator stick.