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Full text of "The Legacy Of Egypt"

io6                          Egyptian Art
The tomb consists of four chambers, which were found to be
full of objects of all kinds, some of them ornaments from the
king's palace, others probably copies of valuable treasures which
the king's successor had preferred to keep for his own use; many
things had been made specially for the tomb and for the require-
ments of the funeral rites. This is so with the coffins, one inside
the other, the innermost of which, constructed of solid gold, is
a triumph of the jeweller's art, and with the shrine which
encloses the Canopic chest. This shrine, of wood plated with
gold and enamel, was guarded by four statuettes of goddesses,
unique in their grace and movement. The chest itself, made of
glistening alabaster, repeated at the corners the figures of these
guardian deities. When the lid was raised, four royal heads of
coloured alabaster were seen, which may perhaps be taken as
idealized portraits of the young ruler. They formed the cover-
ing of the vases which contained the entrails of the dead man,
enclosed in jewelled boxes.
The perfect harmony of the disposition of all these objects
has to be seen in order to appreciate the degree of wealth and
refinement reached by the civilization of this period. Detailed
study of the furniture, the jewels, the utensils of all kinds, the
sculptures, and the rest enhances this impression so strongly that
a visit to the galleries of the Cairo Museum almost turns into
a vision of the Arabian Nights.
 xvii. Cosmetic Spoons
This is the name which has been given to the small articles,
in wood or ivory, which, although destined for trivial purposes,
the Egyptians made into objects of elegance and beauty (Fig.
15). The spoons have, as one might expect, a hollow part to
hold the greasy substance used as ointment, and this hollow
could assume various shapes, often that of a royal cartouche, or
sometimes that of a little basin or shell. The hollow is also con-
trived like the inside of a flower, or like part of an animal's