Cosmetic Jar

A work made of glass, core-formed technique.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of glass, core-formed technique.

Date:

5th/7th century AD

Artist:

Byzantine; Syria or Egypt

About this artwork

Glass containers were used to store cosmetics, including scented oils and kohl, a mineral compound used to dramatic effect to darken eyelids and eyelashes. Containers for cosmetics were fashioned out of a variety of materials in addition to glass, including metal, ivory, bone, and wood. In his writings, the third-century church father Saint Clement of Alexandria (d. 215) mentions white lead, charcoal, and even the “droppings of crocodiles” as common ingredients for cosmetics, although he must be regarded as a hostile witness at best. Nevertheless, the fact that his writings feature such detail about the use of makeup attests to its ubiquity.

On View

Ancient and Byzantine Art, Gallery 153

Culture

Byzantine

Title

Cosmetic Jar

Origin

Syria

Date

401 AD–700 AD

Medium

Glass, core-formed technique

Dimensions

H. 5.1 cm (2 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Theodore W. and Frances S. Robinson

Reference Number

1949.1154

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

Share

Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions

Share