Sandro Vannini’s Photography – The Cartouche Cosmetic Box

The Cartouche Cosmetic Box, found in the Tomb of King Tutankhamun (KV62). Image Copyright - Sandro Vannini.The Cartouche Cosmetic Box is one of numerous artefacts found inside the Tomb of King Tutankhamun (KV62) by famous Egyptologist Howard Carter. The discovery was made in the sarcophagus itself according to Carter, although it’s possible that the artefact was actually found in between the two outer shrines, as other cosmetic boxes were. At a height of just 16cm and width of 8.8cm, with a depth of 4.3cm, the Cartouche Cosmetic Box bears several symbols intricately carved on it. This beautiful artefact is just one of many of the Treasures of the Cairo Museum, the very museum which Dr Zahi Hawass shows us around (click here to watch the Cairo Museum basement treasures video), and photographed by Sandro Vannini, the renown Egyptology Photographer who’s images of artefacts such as the Golden Mask of Tutankhamun are simply stunning. His photography of these ancient treasures are brought to the internet exclusively by Heritage Key.

‘Cartouche Cosmetic Box’ Slideshow

Working with Sandro Vannini, Heritage Key is bringing images from the extensive catalogue of Egyptian antiquity collection of the Cairo Museum to the world wide web. These stunning photographs of these beautiful artefacts are sure to impress anybody interested in Egyptology! Click any of the thumbnail images below to open the slideshow of the Cartouche Cosmetic Box.

See it for yourself in King Tut Virtual

But that’s not all, because you can also view a 3D digital replication of the Cartouche Cosmetic Box in Heritage Key VX – the online, virtual experience. It’s quick and easy to sign up for a free account, and before you know it, you’ll be exploring the Valley of the Kings and searching for the beautiful treasures of King Tutankhamun’s Tomb!

Sandro Vannini’s Photography

Having spent over a decade in Egypt, Sandro has honed his skills and gained the experience to become one of the top photographers of historical artefacts today. His attention for detail and perfection in lighting makes his images stand out, and using his Hasselblad ELD Ixpress 528C camera, Sandro works with some of the finest equipment available.

Obviously not everyone can make that trip to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo to see the stunning collection of artefacts such as the Cartouche Cosmetic Box. So being able to see such beautiful images of the treasures from Sandro from the comfort of your own chair will stand as the next best thing, alongside being able to see the 3D versions in Heritage Key’s King Tut Virtual exhibition – visit it today and experience the wonders of the virtual world!

Don’t miss out on new treasures!

This post is part of a series focussing on amazing photographs from ancient Egypt. Keep checking back as well keep adding new images by Sandro Vannini. To make sure you don’t miss out on any of the updates, simply subscribe by email to receive notifications when new images are uploaded. For the more digitally advanced, there’s also an RSS feed with updates available.

See More Amazing Photography by Sandro

Have a look at some of the other stunning photographs by Sandro Vannini here at Heritage Key:

Ask Sandro

We’ll be sitting down with our favourite photographer for an extended chat soon, so if you have any questions for Sandro we’ll send the answers straight to you!

Cartouche Cosmetic Box

Like many of the calcite vessels that were found in the Tomb of King Tutankhamun, the Cartouche Cosmetic Box was used to hold unguents, and this particular artefact still had residue inside when it was discovered by Howard Carter. The base is made of silver, which was a more precious metal in the Ancient Egyptian age, and inscribed with hieroglyphics representing “life” (in the form of the ankh) and “dominion”. The box is predominantly gold, and inlaid with coloured glass and carnelian, and takes the shape of two cartouches. Above the box itself are the representations of two ostrich feathers, flanked by sun disks.

There are four cartouches in total – two at the front, and another two on the back. Each is adorned with decorations showingKing Tutankhamun as a child on one side of the box, sat on a basket with his knees bent upwards. The boy king is also holding the crook and flail, similar to the one found on his external trappings, and features the sun disk above his head, draped with the ankh symbol. Shown in blue glass on King Tut’s head is a lock of youth, indicating his young age.

King Tutankhamun is shown on the opposing side wearing a crown typical of Pharaohs of the 18th Dynasty. One of the faces on this side is much darker, possibly indicating a reference to the god Osiris – the god of the Underworld. Osiris is often show with black skin, representing the fertility of the soil of the banks of the River Nile, or with green skin to represent to buoying vegetation.

The sides of the box show the god Heh, who is shown wearing traditional-wear including a broad collar, pleated kilt and a corselet. Holding an ankh symbol and the sign for eternity, together they signify hope for a long reign. The throne name of King Tut – Nebkhaperure – is shown above Heh.

On opening the Cartouche Cosmetic Box, Howard Carter noted it contained a foul-smelling brown power which was the remains of what was most probably a perfumed ointment. It’s proximity to the sarcophagus of King Tutankhamun would suggest that it was used in the rituals of the afterlife.

MOVIE: Cartouche Cosmetic Box on display in King Tut Virtual

King Tut Virtual is one of the greatest discoveries you can make online. Click your mouse to travel across time and place to explore King Tutankhamun’s tomb in the digital, online Valley of the Kings. Zoom-in and get up-close to some of the most amazing artefacts ever found. Walk alongside the Nile and get a taste of life in Ancient Egypt. Invite your friends to join you on this adventure as well as meet people from all over the world in this exciting virtual world. Register for your free account and explore the wonders of the virtual world in King Tut Virtual!