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pilgrim flask

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    EA33873

  • Description

    Pottery pilgrim-flask with circular body, short neck and only one handle surviving, the exterior is very worn. On side (a), within a border of studs, Saint Menas stands to front, his arms raised in blessing. He has curly hair and a nimbus, wears a short tunic and a long cloak, and is flanked by camels. On side (b), within a wreath-border and with three small studs below, is an relief inscription. Buff fabric, with some grains of sand.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 480-650 (circa)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 8.9 centimetres (max)
    • Width: 6.6 centimetres (max)
    • Thickness: 2.5 centimetres (max)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        one face
      • Inscription Language

        Greek
      • Inscription Content

        ΕΥΛO
        ΓIΑΤOΥ
        ΑΓIOΥΜ
        ΗΝΑ+
      • Inscription Translation

        Blessings of St Mena.
      • Inscription Comment

        Stamp: three lines of Greek text surrounded by a wreath.
  • Curator's comments

    Terracotta IV
    Purchased: from the Smyrna merchant H.P. Borrell.

    Late Roman, about AD 480-650.

    Comparanda. Side (a): close, perhaps from same mould-series, but mould retouched: Kiss 1989a: nos 9 and probably 10, from Kom el-Dikka, Alexandria, context of AD 480-560; also Heide and Thiel 2004: 145, no. iii.3.20, dated end of fifth to middle of seventh century AD. See also ibid.: 145, no. iii.3.21 and 22.
    Side (b): near: ibid.: 145, no. iii.3.20 and 21; Kaufmann 1908: 70, fig. 50, a mould from Abu Mena.

    Bibliog Sotheby's 'Sale Catalogue', 26 August 1852: lot 1519.

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Terracotta 3445 bibliographic details
  • Condition

    fair (worn and one handle missing)

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    9 June 1999

    Treatment proposal

    Surface dust only, take care of white pigment

    Condition

    Surface dust over a white bloom or pigment on surface.

    Treatment details

    Surface cleaned of dust with low pressure jet of air under magnification to check surface, and Wishab sponge (vulcanized latex,filler) so as not to disturb the white surface. Very little encrustation on this vessel which was left in place

    About these records 

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1852

  • Acquisition notes

    Lot 1519 at sale. Acquisition details unclear in MLA acquisition register.

  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number

    EA33873

  • Registration number

    1852,0901.3

  • Additional IDs

    • BS.5232.a (Birch Slip Number)
Light-brown pottery pilgrim-flask with circular body, short neck and only one handle surviving, the exterior is very worn, one face is elaborated with a stamped representation of St Menas within a beaded border and the other with a Greek text within a wreath.

Light-brown pottery pilgrim-flask with circular body, short neck and only one handle surviving, the exterior is very worn, one face is elaborated with a stamped representation of St Menas within a beaded border and the other with a Greek text within a wreath.

Image description

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Object reference number: YCA68820

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