Ancient Egypt: Cosmetic Tools

22 Feb

Last weekend I had the pleasure of visiting the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, a stunning building situated in the west end of Glasgow. The museum is filled with a vast array of fascinating objects, from dinosaur skeletons to Victorian dresses, and is truly a wonderful place to visit.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (image: edwud.com)

Being a makeup nerd, my favourite part had to be the section dedicated to Ancient Egypt. I entered the room hoping to come across some information on Egyptian cosmetics, but what I found by far exceeded my expectations.

After I’d finished gawping at a bandaged corpse and gigantic stone sarcophagus, I stumbled upon a glass cabinet displaying a range of ancient beauty tools – some of which were over 4000 years old. Awesome.

The collection of dainty artifacts included eyeliner pots, a cosmetic palette and even a hand-held mirror (looks like humanity’s been vain for quite some time).

The display really is a must-see for any makeup fanatic, but for those of you who may not get the chance to visit the museum, here are some snaps!

1. Mirror with papyrus-shaped handle, Middle Kingdom, 2055-1650 BCE, Copper alloy and wood (given By Egyptian Research Students’ Association [Glasgow Branch] 1923).

1. Mirror with papyrus-shaped handle, Middle Kingdom, 2055-1650 BCE, Copper alloy and wood (given By Egyptian Research Students' Association [Glasgow Branch] 1923).

Mirror with papyrus-shaped handle, 2055-1650 BCE (image: Kelvingrove Museum)

2. Eye-paint pot and lid, Middle Kingdom, 2055 – 1650 BCE, travertine (given by the Egypt Exploration Fund, 1899).

Eye-paint Pot and Lid, Middle Kingdom, 2055 - 1650 BCE, Travertine (Given by the Egypt Exploration Fund, 1899).

Eye-paint Pot and Lid, 2055 - 1650 BCE (image: Kelvingrove Museum)

3. Eye-Paint pot held by a girl, New Kingdom, 1550-1069 BCE, steatite (loaned by British Museum) and eye paint stick, Late Period, 747 – 332 BCE, hematite (loaned by Miss J May Buchanan).

Eye-paint pot held by a girl, New Kingdom, 1550-1069 BCE, Steatite, Loaned by British Museum

Eye-Paint Pot held by a Girl, 1550-1069 BCE and Eye Paint Stick, 747 - 332 BCE (image: Kelvingrove Museum)

4. Eye-paint pot held by an ape, 18th dynasty, 1550-1295 BCE, Steatite (given by John Martin 1911).

Eye-paint pot held by an ape, 18th dynasty, 1550-1295 BCE, Steatite, Given by John Martin 1911

Eye-paint pot held by an ape, 1550-1295 BCE (image: Kelvingrove Museum)

5. Eye-paint pot, Third Intermediate Period, 1069-747 BCE, glazed composition. 

Eye-paint Pot, Third Intermediate Period, 1069-747 BCE, Glazed Composition.

Eye-paint pot, 1069-747 BCE, Glazed composition (image: Kelvingrove museum)

6. Cosmetic palette, Roman Period, 30 BCE – 395 CE, Slate (given by the Egypt Exploration Fund).

Cosmetic palette, Roman Period, 30 BCE - 395 CE

Cosmetic palette, 30 BCE - 395 CE (image: Kelvingrove Museum)

Note: Thanks to Kelvingrove Museum for allowing me to take pictures of the collection.

About these ads

6 Responses to “Ancient Egypt: Cosmetic Tools”

  1. eegg February 22, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

    That girl looks like Alien.

  2. Heledd Williams February 22, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

    Well observed. http://www.thewatcherfiles.com/images/alien3.jpg

  3. Dior April 4, 2012 at 5:04 am #

    Interesting information and pictures! Women have never stop making themselves look beautiful!

    • Heledd Williams April 5, 2012 at 11:04 pm #

      Thank you, glad you enjoyed! The display was so cool. Great museum.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Why do women wear make-up? « Yesterface - April 19, 2012

    [...] Why is it so deeply embedded in many a woman’s psyche that, to look her best (and in particular to look sexually attractive) she needs to wear make-up? Of course it could be argued that it’s part of our nature, after all, women have been beautifying themselves for thousands of years. [...]

  2. Fabulous Pharaos: Gisele Bündchen & Heidi Klum steal Cleopatra’s style! | Yesterface - November 2, 2012

    [...] For more facts about ancient Egyptian makeup and for tips on how to look like Cleopatra, check out Yesterface’s Egyptian Makeup Tutorial. To see what cosmetic tools the ancient Egyptians used, see Yesterface’s post on the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. [...]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 42 other followers

%d bloggers like this: