Sandro Vannini’s Photography – Cosmetic Jar with Recumbent Lion

The Recumbent Lion of the Cosmetic Jar. Image Copyright - Sandro Vannini.The Tomb of King Tutankhamun (KV62) contained many calcite jars and vases, but most were located in the antechamber and the annexe. However, the Cosmetic Jar with Recumbent Lion was found between the walls of the first and secondshrine of King Tut, in the burial chamber, suggesting it may have had more significance. Perhaps used in the funeral ceremony, the jar was found with residues of a costmetic inside – a blend of vegetable resin and animal fats.The Cosmetic Jar was one of the many artefacts from KV62 originally discovered by famous explorer Howard Carter, and photographed at the Egyptian Museum, Cairo by the renown photographer Sandro Vannini. His stunning images of this artefact are brought to the internet exclusively by Heritage Key.

‘Cosmetic Jar with Recumbent Lion’ Slideshow

Heritage Key is working with Sandro and bringing his extensive catalogue of beautiful photography of Egyptian antiquities onto the world wide web, which we’re sure will please all fans of Egyptology! To watch a slideshow of the Cosmetic Jar with Recumbent Lion, simply click any of the thumbnails below.

See it for yourself in King Tut VX

But it doesn’t stop there, as you can also check out a 3D version of the Cosmetic Jar with Recumbent Lion in King Tut Virtual – simply just register for your avatar in our quick and easy process, and you’ll be exploring the virtual artefacts of King Tutankhamun, walking through the Valley of the Kings and even seeing more of Sandro Vannini’s photography in the virtual gallery.

Sandro Vannini’s Photography

What makes Sandro’s photography stand out? Attention for detail and skills gathered over the years in photography gives Sandro the necessary experience to capture the intricate details of the Cosmetic Jar with Recumbent Lion. Of course, the equipment Sandro uses plays a role too, and he comes well prepared with a Hasselblad ELD Ixpress 528C camera.

So for those of you who cant make the trip to see the Cosmetic Jar, Heritage Key offers these stunning photographs by Sandro Vannini which capture the beauty and magnificence of the Cosmetic Jar with Recumbent Lion from the Tomb of King Tutankhamun. But it doesnt stop there: you can visit virtual replicas of Tutankhamun treasures in the Heritage Key VX King Tut exhibition, which features a digital recreation of many breath-taking artefacts, including the Cosmetic Jar.

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!

Cosmetic Jar with Recumbent Lion

The Cosmetic Jar is styled in a typical fashion of the Amarna period and made from mostly calcite, with the additions to the jar made from ivory and copper. It has a height of 26.8cm and a width of 22cm, and was one of many jars and cosmetic vases that were found inside the tomb of KingTut.

The Cosmetic Jar with Recumbent Lion. Image Copyright - Sandro Vannini. The side of the Cosmetic Jar is adorned with images of lions and dogs attacking hoofed desert animals (ungulates). The savannah plants scattered around the scene give the context of a desert environment, with the lower edge portraying a band of niches, replicating the commonly shown palace faades in Egyptian art. The upper edge, above the animal scene, shows a series of spear shapes which represent lotus petals, behind which are lines of red, white and black.

The lid of the Cosmetic Jar is what catches the eye of most people though. It’s the recumbent lion, laying along the lid with its tongue hanging out. Carved from the same block of calcite as the lid itself, the opening of the jar was done by a swivel mechanism which was kept shut by a piece of string wrapped around knobs at the sides of the jar. Decorated using blue paint on the eyes, ears, nose, claws, eyebrows and the tip of the tail, the lion is laying with its left paw on its right and it’s pink-stained ivory tongue hanging out.

There are two columns on either side of the jar, at the top of which is depicted the god Bes – the god of protecting women and the household. He is portrayed as a menacing looking dwarf, and is shown with his tongue hanging out in a similar fashion to the lion.

At the base of the Cosmetic Jar are four heads – the enemies of Egypt. Being at the bottom of the jar has significance in itself, denoting that the enemies are being crushed, or that they are the lowest of the low. The black stone heads are Nubian, whereas the other two are red-stoned Asiatics.

The lion on the jar is linked directly to King Tutankhamun through an inscription on its shoulder, and indicates the power and virility of the boy king. It also represents Tutankhamun’s ability to maintain order in a disorderly world, with the calm and dignified lion on top of the fighting animals and enemies of Egypt. The separation of levels in this jar indicates that the chaos of the disorderly world are kept away from the orderly conduct of King Tut’s Egypt.

MOVIE: Cosmetic Jar with Recumbent Lion 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. Wander the banks of Nile and enjoy a feeling of life in ancient times. The details and realism will amaze you. You can invite your friends to join you on this adventure as well as meet people from all over the world in this exciting online environment. Explore the Boy King’s treasures, go virtual and visit the King Tut exhibition nowor learn more about Tutankhamun!