A pyxis was a vessel used in the ancient world, usually by women. The pyxis was used to store jewellery and makeup. The Egyptian Book of the Dead recalls spell 125 which states that one shouldn’t speak unless they are “clean, dressed in fresh clothes, shod in white sandals, painted with eye-paint, anointed with the finest oil of myrrh.” Cosmetics were a large industry in Ancient Egypt and they were produced professionally and sold in the market place. The Egyptians had recipes for many modern day toiletries including toothpaste, deodorant, sun cream, cosmetics, and perfume. Toothpaste was originally a power in which a wet wooden brush was dipped. It is possible that this pyxis held such a powder, or some other cosmetic.
Rare Egyptian Wood Pyxis
A very rare wood pyxis from ancient Egypt. The pyxis features the original removable lid which is perfectly sized to provide an exact fit. The box is simply decorated with an encircling groove on the roof and side of the lid, and around the base. There is a small indentation on the top of the lid for decorative purposes.
Period: Late Dynastic Period
Condition: Very fine condition; vertical crack to the body and several other minor cracks, all of which are stable; otherwise very fine condition.