Ancient Egyptian cosmetic spoons

Ancient Egyptian cosmetic spoons representing flower bouquets and servants carrying vases. Louvre Museum. New Kingdom.

‘The purpose of these objects has never been fully determined. The receptacles are shallow, which suggests they might be cosmetic spoons. These highly colored and oily products would have left traces on the spoons, however, and yet the wood is perfectly clean. Though fragile, the handles bear no marks or signs of wear.

These objects could be intended as gifts, which would correspond well with their generally attractive themes and subjects, a reflection of the sensibilities of the upper echelons of New Kingdom society. Indeed, many of these spoons were found in the necropolis of the royal harem of Medinet el-Ghurob, in the Faiyum region.’

Text credit: Louvre museum. More in: J. Vandier d’Abbadie, Musée du Louvre Département des Antiquités Egyptiennes – Catalogue des objets de toilette égyptiens, Editions de la Réunion des musées nationaux, Paris, 1972.

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