As examined by undergraduate students Evan Smith and Jordan Poston, all of these miniature vessels were hand-modeled in Egyptian faience paste, mostly by coiling and smoothing, and were glazed with copper-based colorants that provide the rich blue-green hue that most still retain. Most of the painted black lines on these objects were created with a manganese-rich colorant still detectable by x-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF). X-radiography of these tiny vessels also provided delightful details into their production, showing clearly how coils were used to form the faience paste into the desired shape, or how holes were drilled post-firing.
X-radiography, in combination with a study of the different glaze compositions using XRF provided an interesting insight into more recent repairs to at least one of these objects. In the case of ECM 453, an x-ray provides evidence that the object is actually composed of two different objects that were attached and covered with a black wax-like band to conceal the repair. XRF of the two different parts of the vessel suggested significantly different glaze compositions, with lead present in the glaze of the lower portion of the object, but missing in the upper portion. This further corroborates the finding that this object is a composite of two objects, which were possibly even manufactured hundreds of years apart in time as the addition of lead may suggest a glaze made in the Ptolemaic period.