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Oryx Dish

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
Cosmetic Containers

Like us, the ancient Egyptians used cosmetics, and often for the same purposes.


Archaeologists use the term “cosmetic container” to describe a variety of Egyptian boxes that once held scented, oil-based ointments. The salves in these boxes were used by women and men to heighten sexual allure and to camouflage body odor. Orange or yellow stains seen on ancient representations of clothing and on actual surviving linen garments show how liberally such ointments were applied.
MEDIUM Faience
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1539-1292 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 18
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 2 13/16 x 4 13/16 x 13/16 in. (7.1 x 12.3 x 2 cm)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 86.226.16
    CREDIT LINE Gift of the Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.