Large Molar Flask

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Large molar flask Possibly 9th–10th centuries, Egypt Cut glass Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, 1968.2.43

Large molar flask

This deep blue flask is relatively large for a glass cosmetic container. In addition to essential oils and perfumes, these types of vessels stored kohl, a natural black powder used to darken the area around the eye, like mascara or eyeliner. Such items were functional and also served to ornament and beautify the human body. It is thus fitting that the vessels themselves were decorated, and typically with carved relief designs. Although such flasks are small and delicate, they have been found in substantial quantities in Fustat (medieval Cairo).

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.

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