Collection online

pilgrim flask

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Brown pottery pilgrim-flask with circular body, the neck is damaged and one handle is missing, the exterior is covered with a grey-coloured slip. On each side, within a plain border, Saint Menas stands to front, flanked by camels, his arms outstretched in blessing. Above his arms on side (a) are crosses; on side (b) are groups of chevrons. He has curly hair, and wears a short tunic: his cloak is only visible in its drapery across the shoulders. The saint and the camels are so close, one to another, on both sides, that a single archetype must have produced their moulds, but the differing devices above the arms point to alternative manipulation of the moulds.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 480-650 (circa)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 7.7 centimetres (max)
    • Width: 5.9 centimetres (max)
    • Thickness: 2.2 centimetres (max)
  • Curator's comments

    Terracotta IV
    Given by Greville J. Chester.

    Late Roman, about AD 480-650.

    Comparanda: Side (a): near: Metzger 1981: no. 53a, dated sixth to seventh century AD; Witt 2000: nos. 31 and 32, side A, dated end of fifth to mid-seventh century AD.

  • Bibliography

    • Terracotta 3429 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Condition

    fair (worn and one handle missing)

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    21 June 1999

    Reason for treatment


    Treatment proposal

    Clean surface dust and dirt, leave encrustation


    Surface dust, dirt some small areas of encrustation/gravelly deposit. Ceramic body black in colour and soft and vulnerable to scalpel blades there is what appears to be a fairly new chip missing from the body of the flask.

    Treatment details

    Surface cleaned with Wishab sponge (vulcanized latex,filler) and soft brush. Scalpel to remove soil. Air-abrasive using Aluminium oxide, No1 powder on number 2/3 tested at 85psi on encrusted areas in detail of moulded pattern with very little effect at the ceramic is too soft beneath and therefore at risk of damage. the encrustation was therefore left in place, but the detail is discernable with raking light.

    About these records 

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration number



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Object reference number: YCA68816

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