- Museum number
Earthenware ampulla with round body and two handles. On side (a), within a border of small studs, Saint Menas stands to front, his arms outstretched in blessing. Above each arm is a group of four studs arranged as a cross. He has radiating hair, and wears a short tunic and a long cloak. Camels flank him. On side (b) is a sailing ship with a square sail, moving to right, with a high prow, supporting a cross (?), and at the low stern is a steering-oar. Below the gunwale there appears to be a row of oars, and under the ship are waves and probably fish. There may be people aboard, their heads showing on each side of the mast. Orange clay with a buff surface.
- Production date
- 480-650 (circa)
Height: 91 millimetres
Width: 61 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Terracotta IV
Purchased: Greville J. Chester.
Late Roman, about AD 480-650.
Comparanda. Sides (a) and (b): close: Dutilh 1904: pls 1 and 2, fig. 22, from Alexandria.
Side (a): close: Yoyotte 1997: no. 256, dated to the 'Coptic' period. Near: Witt 2000: no. 22, side A, dated end of fifth to mid-seventh century AD.
Side (b): close: Ben-Eli and Stieglitz 1972: 25, no. 66; Heide and Thiel 2004: 142, no. iii.3.10, dated end of fifth to middle of seventh century AD; Kakovkin 1996: 72, fig. 16:1; Kaufmann 1908: 69, fig. 48:13 and Kaufmann 1910: 168, fig. 104, from Abu Mena; Pagenstecher 1913: 93, fig. 106:3, from Alexandria. Near: Kaufmann 1910: 160, fig. 97:13, from Abu Mena; Witt 2000: no. 22, side B, dated end of fifth to mid-seventh century AD.
An example in Berlin (Witt 2000: no. 22), has three fish below the ship on side (b).
Bibliog: Dalton 1901: no. 883; Murray 1907: pls ii:3 and v:1; Buckton 1994: no. 124.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2011 23 June-9 Oct, London, BM, Treasures of Heaven
2010 26 Feb-13 Jun, Germany, Bonn, Kunst and Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Byzantium: Splendour and Daily Life
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number