Cosmetic Spoon

The Show


Cosmetic spoon 10th–11th centuries, Fustat (medieval Cairo), Egypt Bronze Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, 1969.2.96

Cosmetic spoon

This long and thin metal implement would have fit perfectly into the small glass containers used to store cosmetics such as perfumes, oils, and kohl. If used as a kohl applicator, the tip of the tool would be moistened and dipped into the black powder and then drawn around the eye, like modern-day eyeliner. Kohl served to protect, beautify, and highlight the eyes of men, women, and children.

Bibliography: Georges 1911; Bacharach 2002; and Scanlon 1968; 1964.

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