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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Antiquities| ▸ |Antiquities by Type| ▸ |Toiletries & Grooming||View Options:  |  |  | 

Ancient Toiletries, Cosmetic, and Grooming Items
Roman, Eastern Mediterranean, Glass Double Balsamarium (Cosmetic Tube), 4th Century A.D.

|Glass| |Antiquities|, |Roman,| |Eastern| |Mediterranean,| |Glass| |Double| |Balsamarium| |(Cosmetic| |Tube),| |4th| |Century| |A.D.|
This type was used to store eye makeup. One tube would have held kohl, a black paste made with powdered galena. The other tube would have held another color, perhaps made with an ochre clay (for red or brown) or powdered malachite (for green or blue).
AG23900. cf. ROM Glass 458, Corning II 744, Princeton 426, Lightfoot NMS 262, Yale Gallery 321; 11.5 cm (4 1/8") tall, Choice, complete and intact, weathering with areas of iridescence, 4th Century A.D.; double balsamarium, free-blown thick heavy pale translucent blue-green glass, 20.0 cm (8") tall, two tubes joined side-by-side and sharing a thick bottom (made by folding a single tube), deep cleft between the tubes on one side, the other side filled, rim flattened, small handles applied from rim to side, single thin spiral thread decoration applied after folding; ex Griffin Gallery of Ancient Art (Boca Raton FL); $700.00 (707.00)


Roman, Shaving Razor, c. 2nd Century A.D.

|Toiletries| |&| |Grooming|, |Roman,| |Shaving| |Razor,| |c.| |2nd| |Century| |A.D.|
During much of Roman history it was fashionable for men to shave, and being clean shaven was a sign of wealth and success. At other times, usually following grooming habits of the emperor, beards were the fashion. Young male Romans let their beards grow until well after their 20th birthday, and then, when they had a sizable beard it would be shaved in a celebration and semi-religious rite, the depositio barbae. Augustus was 23 years old when he had his first shave and turned the event into a public festival. After age 50 shaving was discouraged, as a wise old man should have a beard.
AS111475. Roman, bronze shaving razor, with iron blade, Choice, green patina, most of the blade gone, 50.1mm from the tip of the handle to the blade, c. 2nd Century A.D.; ex The Time Machine (Mark E. Reid, Kissimmee, FL); SOLD


Roman-Byzantine, Toiletry Grooming Set, 1st - 10th Century A.D.

|Toiletries| |&| |Grooming|, |Roman-Byzantine,| |Toiletry| |Grooming| |Set,| |1st| |-| |10th| |Century| |A.D.|
Copper and bronze toiletry kits from the ancient world have been found from the Indus Valley to Britain, dating as early as the 3rd millennium B.C. Very often, as is the case for this specimen, instruments are grouped together, secured by a wire ring. At the site of Kish, located upriver from Ur, and containing burials dating to the Early Dynastic Period (c. 2750 - 2600 B.C.), excavators have found kits in burials, most with three instruments: an ear scoop, a stiletto (pointed nail cleaner), and tweezers. Some included a small blade and some were in a case. In the past, these kits were often misdescribed as cosmetic kits and at one time archeologists used these kits to identify female burials, while knives and daggers were used to identify males. This has proven incorrect. At Kish in 33 burials with the sex confirmed by the skull or pelvis, 3 of 11 woman were buried with a knife or dagger, no toilet kits were found with females, and six toilet kits were found with the 22 males. (Torres-Rouff, C., W. Pestle, and B. Daverman. "Commemorating bodies and lives at Kish's 'A Cemetery': (Re)presenting social memory" in Journal of Social Archaeology 12(2), 21 May 2012, pp. 193-219.)
AS99710. Roman-Byzantine toiletry grooming set - an ear scoop, a stiletto (pointed nail cleaner), and tweezers, all on a bronze ring with hanger, Choice, green patina, weight 8.721 g, maximum diameter 91.5 mm, die axis 0o, 1st - 10th Century A.D.; SOLD










REFERENCES

Hayes, J. Greek and Greek-Style Painted and Plain Pottery in the Royal Ontario Museum. (Toronto, 1992).
Kelley, A. The Pottery of Ancient Egypt Dynasty I to Roman Times. (Toronto, 1976).
Lafli, E. (ed.). Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Bronzes from Anatolia and Neighbouring Regions. Bar 3038. (Oxford, 2021).
Malloy, A. Artifacts of Ancient Civilizations, 2000 Objects Under $300. (New York, 1997).
Petrie, F. Objects of Daily Use. (London, 1927).
Petrie, F. The funeral furniture of Egypt with stone and metal vases. (London, 1925).
Skupinska-Lovset, I. The Ustinov collection: The Palestinian pottery. (Oslo, 1976).

For glass references click on the blue link, or see the glass page in shop or NumisWiki.

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