Molar flask Possibly 9th–10th centuries, Egypt Cut glass Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, 1968.2.13
This small bottle carved from relatively opaque glass is a popular shape for glass cosmetic containers used in medieval Egypt. Commonly referred to as "molar flasks," these vessels' shape is thought to resemble a tooth. The four "feet" function as a tiny pedestal for the miniature flask, which would have been filled with various cosmetics, including kohl (a black unguent used as an eyeliner) and essential oils to perfume the body.
Bibliography: Georges 1911; Jenkins, 1986, 24; Scanlon 1964; Scanlon and Pinder-Wilson, 2001, 91–99; Pinder-Wilson and Scanlon 1973, 24–28; Carboni and Whitehouse 2001; and Carboni 2001, cat. 27a–c, 124–127, cat. 2.28a–q.Return to the Show