Monday, April 1, 2013

A very old egg

Wow! I'm so excited to see this! It's an etched and decorated ostrich egg that the British Museum has that is described as follows:

Ostrich egg vessel carved in low relief with warriors in procession, somewhat like a hoplite phalanx; they are carrying round shields, the rims of which are incised with parallel lines, and long spears with large, leaf-shaped tips; on their heads are substantial helmets with pointed tips; the surrounding field is painted in black, apart from hatched triangles rising from the bottom, between their outstretched legs; the details of the warriors may originally have been painted; the frieze is framed above and below by stylised lotus flowers; the top of the egg is pierced with a large hole, presumably to empty the contents, around which are several smaller piercings for suspension.

I wonder if this was some sort of lamp because of the suspension piercings on it. Or perhaps simply a hanging piece of artwork? It is a time-travelling tingling sort of feeling to know exactly how this artist would have handled this egg and how it would have felt in his/her hand. And now when someone asks me how long an egg will last I can say that it will last at least 2,500 years!

Maybe one day I will be lucky enough to see this egg.