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HOME : Biblical Antiquities : Archive : Blue Glass Kohl Tube with Two Handles
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Blue Glass Kohl Tube with Two Handles - LO.937
Origin: Eastern Mediterranean
Circa: 200 AD to 300 AD
Dimensions: 4.75" (12.1cm) high x 2" (5.1cm) wide
Collection: Biblical
Medium: Mould-blown Glass

Additional Information: sold
Location: Great Britain
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This beautiful elongated bag-shaped tube presents an everted rim folded inward, pushed- in ring base and pontil mark. Two handles rising from the upper part of the body attached to the upper rim. A small tread trail around the neck. Weathering patches all over the surface and traces of diagonal rotation, probably achieved after its removal from the mould. The whole surface covered by iridescence and heavy weathering.

Kohl tube is indeed one of the most easily recognizable ancient glass vessels. It was designed to hold kohl- an eye make up-, a paste made of galena (antimony trisulphide Sb), brown ochre and sometimes malachite, that was applied with a special small spoon to the eyes.

These special containers have been found mainly in tombs dating to the Byzantine period. Some were found with traces of the makeup preserved inside or, more frequently, with a small stick of bronze, glass or bone used as applicator. The earliest type dates to the 3rd century AD and often features a simple body with a pushed- in base such as the one here illustrated. Kohl tubes have been found in abundance in Palestine, in a larger number than in neighbouring countries and they may be considered a local type.

For a comparable example see: Y. Israel, Ancient Glass in the Israel Museum, 2003: pl.283, p. 228. - (LO.937)


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