Double Cartouche Perfume Box of Tutankhamun
This double cartouche shaped perfume box of Tutankhamun is gilded and inlaid with colored glass paste. The sides of the box feature a relief of Heh, god of eternity holding above and around his head the cartouches of the king.
Each side is composed of two inward-facing cartouches containing the figure of the king squatting on the Heb, or festival, sign. The four images of the king differ slightly and have been interpreted as showing him in different stages of his life.
The lid is adorned with the sun disk and double plumes; the base is plated with silver and decorated with a frieze of Ankh, or life, signs.
Front: The King as the young Horus squatting upon the hb-sign, with solar disc above his head. Embossed on gold and inlaid with lapis blue glass, turquoise blue glass, jasper red glass, lapis lazuli and carnelian.
Back: The young King represented in similar attitude to the front, but as King, and on the left with a black face on the right a light flesh coloured face. Material used as same as front.
In ancient Egypt, a cartouche was a distinctive oval shape with a horizontal line at one end, used to enclose the names of kings and other important individuals. It served as a royal nameplate or a protective amulet, symbolizing the eternal and divine nature of the person whose name was inscribed within it.
The Tomb of Tutankhamun contained a wide array of items, including cosmetic containers and vessels that may have been used for storing perfumes or oils. These containers were often made of precious materials such as alabaster, gold, or faience.
New Kingdom, late 18th Dynasty, reign of Tutankhamun, ca. 1332-1323 BC. From the Tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62), Valley of the Kings, West Thebes. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 61496