Precious duck-shaped vessel for cosmetic use (kymbe), made of a single piece of rock-crystal. Mycenae, Grave Circle B, Grave O, 6th cent. BC.
This duck-shaped vessel, a remarkable example of Minoan art, is one of the most impressive finds from Mycenae's Grave Circle B. Though found in several pieces, it was made of a single block of rock crystal, a material still quarried in Crete today. The oblong body ends in a spout and forms a handle in the shape of a duck's head turned backwards at the opposite end. The vessel probably had a cosmetic use, since it was found inside what must have been a woman's burial, considering the grave's abundance of jewelry and the absence of any armour. The delicate craftsmanship favours a Cretan origin for the object, as it resembles other Minoan objects of the same material.