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Gifts of the Nile: Ancient Egypt Faience
     

Gifts of the Nile: Ancient Egypt Faience

by Florence Friedman
 
One of the ancient world's most beautiful forms of ceramic is today known as Egyptian faience. The ancient Egyptians named it tjehnet, meaning that which is brilliant or scintillating, and in their eyes it glistened with symbolic light. Although faience was made of common materials, especially quartz sand grains or crushed quartz pebbles, it nevertheless took on the

Overview

One of the ancient world's most beautiful forms of ceramic is today known as Egyptian faience. The ancient Egyptians named it tjehnet, meaning that which is brilliant or scintillating, and in their eyes it glistened with symbolic light. Although faience was made of common materials, especially quartz sand grains or crushed quartz pebbles, it nevertheless took on the splendor of gold or semiprecious gems. The creative variety was astonishing: from 36,000 faience tiles lining underground rooms in King Djoser's Third Dynasty Step Pyramid complex to tiny plaques for furniture inlay, from jewelry to statuary, from female fertility objects to perfume containers, amulets, inkwells, animal tomb gifts, mummy masks, and a host of other forms. This is the first publication to analyze fully the significance of faience in ancient Egypt, and to present the most marvelous examples of its creation. Under the skilled editorship of Florence Friedman, the world's leading scholars in the field--from the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Cleveland Museum of Art; the British Museum; and elsewhere--show how faience was used and produced, as well as its symbolic values and meanings. More than 150 pieces, drawn from public and private collections around the world, are reproduced in color and described in detail. This dazzling display looks at the origins of faience, and at its use in royal life, in daily life, and in connection with death and rebirth. Scientific data resulting from analyses of faience objects, a specially compiled glossary, and a comprehensive bibliography complete the work.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Friedman (curator of ancient art, Museum of Art, Rhode Island Sch. of Design) provides a catalog that expands the Rhode Island School of Design's new traveling exhibit, affording an intimate look at a critical area of Egyptian art. There is little gold to catch the eye and no colossal statues to marvel at in the exhibit, but many of the faience pieces selected are important and most are exquisite. While spectators in exhibit halls must jostle to view each item, the catalog's photographs permit a detailed look, and essays by outstanding scholars in the field provide insight into creation and use. The photographs are exceptionally clear, critical in a book so filled with detail. This is a definitive work in what had been a barren field. Highly recommended for large public and academic libraries.--Mary Morgan Smith, Northland P.L., PA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780500237540
Publisher:
Thames & Hudson
Publication date:
03/28/1998
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
9.33(w) x 12.27(h) x 1.10(d)

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