Egyptian, New Kingdom, 1550 BC-1069 BC
Wood with traces of paint. H.: 6,5 cm. Total H.: 9,5 cm
Inventory number: H256
This tube consists of two wooden cylinders with a stick in between that keeps the rotating lid in place when closed. Remains of the kohl, this tube was originally meant for, can still be found in one of the cylinders. Kohl is a black powder made from lead sulphides that was applied to the eyes with the thick end of a kohl stick soaked in water then dipped in the kohl itself. Kohl, worn by both men and women, was the most important part of Egyptian make-up that also included lipstick, rouge and eye shadow. The use of cosmetics in ancient Egypt served multiple purposes. It was beautifying, warded off eye infections and protected against the sun’s rays. Perhaps even more importantly, it evoked the Eye of Horus that symbolised protection, healing and finally resurrection, which was the most fundamental part of Egyptian religion and their striving for eternal life.