February 1st, 2017 “The Middle Class Goes to Heaven” at CHEWDAY’S x < > i “The Middle Class Goes to Heaven” at CHEWDAY’SEGYPTIAN BLACK-TOP JAR Predynastic Period, Naqada I-II, c. 4000-3250 BC Height: 30 cm The elongated ovoid body rises from a small flat foot to a short neck with everted lip. The red and burnt black surface is burnished to a dull sheen. The vessel restored from original fragments. This comes with a thermoluminescence test report from Oxford Authentication confirming its antiquity. Black-topped pottery vessels, made of fired Nile silt, have a polished red coloured lower surface, sometimes enhanced by a red slip. Below the rim is a blackened area probably caused by the vessel being fired with its mouth pushed into the ashes with the body exposed to the air, although it is also suggested that it was placed in some type of organic matter immediately after firing. This carbonization was employed solely to obtain a desired colour effect, and was obviously deliberate for the even firing of pottery in a kiln had been practiced for centuries. The blackened area is also polished, giving it an almost metallic sheen. Literature: See Sir W. M. Flinders Petrie, ‘Prehistoric Egypt, Corpus of Prehistoric Pottery and Palettes’ (reprinted Warminster, 1974) pl. VI, no. 53a for the type. A similar example from the Thalassic Collection is included in ‘The The Collector’s Eye’ (Peter Lacovara and Betsy Teasley Trope with Sue H. D’Auria, (Eds.) the catalogue of the collection published in 2001 (number 45).