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.
- 480-650 (circa)
- Found/Acquired: Egypt
- Height: 7.7 centimetres (max)
- Width: 5.9 centimetres (max)
- Thickness: 2.2 centimetres (max)
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.
fair (worn and one handle missing)
21 June 1999
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.
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.
Ancient Egypt & Sudan
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Object reference number: YCA68816
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