Despite a slight formal asymmetry, this vessel is remarkable for its artistic and technical qualities. The profile is rounded, the disk-shaped base is flat, the upturned lip is in relief.
The craftsman took full advantage of the stone’s striking veining. The light reveals the translucent nature of the alabaster and the rich polychromy of the stone.
In ancient Egypt, stone vases were regarded as luxury goods. They were found especially in the royal tombs and in the graves of the highest ranking members of society. The mastery of stone working has an old technical tradition and dates back to the Pre-Dynastic period already.
In general, these thick-walled vessels were intended to store and preserve ointments and cosmetic oils: these substances had various everyday uses (medicines), and also played a prominent role in religious rites (offerings, daily anointing of the statues, etc.). Such open, low vessels were not meant, however, to contain liquids, but rather offerings placed in the tomb, like wheat, fruits, etc.