- Museum number
Copper alloy patera handle; cast; hollow ribbed tube terminating in a ram's head, originally secured to the wall with four small rivets; this end of the handle ends in a pair of concentric mouldings, one partially decorated with beading; chased decoration on the lower attachment, possibly imitative of parts of a vinescroll.
- Production date
Length: 15.30 centimetres
Weight: 309.70 grammes
Width: 2.80 centimetres (handle)
Width: 7.40 centimetres (rivet attachment)
- Curator's comments
This object was first published in Simpson StJ 2002a. It was possibly part of the handle of a patera or portable lidded incense burner, for which there are close parallels from graves in the Wadi Dura (see Simpson StJ 2002a, cat. 314), ed-Dur in south-east Arabia (Haerinck et al. 2001, pls 94: 26, 117, C: 1) and the Roman world, where they were produced in Italy in large numbers in the 1st century AD, but probably also elsewhere and later as they are found in later contexts in the north-west provinces of the Roman empire. They are variously described as paterae or skillets in the Roman archaeological literature. At least six such handles were also excavated in Kushite tombs at Meroe, including a 2nd century AD tomb of queen Amanikhatashan, where in the absence of attached vessels they are suggested to have been valued for their ram's head terminals (L. Allason-Jones 2004). An almost identical example attached to a shallow footed bowl, described as a "Late Hellenistic or Early Roman Bronze Cooking Vessel, 1st Century BC", was offered for auction at Sotheby's (London, New Conduit Street), on 11/12/89, lot 370, described & illustrated on pp.159-60; two others passed through Sotheby's (NY) on 29/11/89, lots 334-35.
Allason-Jones, L., 2004. Cat. 158 on p. 173 in: D.A. Welsby & J.R. Anderson, eds, 'Sudan: Ancient Treasures. An Exhibition of Recent Discoveries from the Sudan National Museum', London: BMP 2004.
Haerinck, E. et al., 2001. 'Excavations at ed-Dur (Umm al-Qaiwain, United Arab Emirates), Vol. II: The Tombs', Leuven: Peeters.
Bowers catalogue entry
1st century BC - 2nd century AD
Length 15.3 cm, width 7.4 cm (rivet attachment), width 2.8 cm (handle); 309.7 g weight
Said to be from the Hadramawt
ANE 1907-10-12,3 = 102478
Purchased from Charles Albert Brenchley through George Hallett
A hollow-cast copper alloy vessel-handle in the form of a ribbed tube terminating in a ram’s head, which had possibly been originally attached to a patera (a broad flat saucer or dish used particularly in pouring out libations at sacrifices) or a portable lidded incense-burner, and originally secured to the wall with four small rivets. This end of the handle ends in a pair of concentric mouldings, one partially decorated with beading; the chased decoration on the lower attachment is possibly imitative of parts of a grapevine. Identical objects are known from the Roman Empire and it may be an import. Nevertheless, this type of handle was found attached to an incense-burner attributed to the 1st or 2nd century AD and excavated in a grave in the Wadi Dura region of Yemen.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2002 5 Jun-13 Oct, BM, 'Queen of Sheba: Treasures from ancient Yemen'
2004-2005 17 Oct-13 Mar, California, Bowers Museum, 'Queen of Sheba: Legend and Reality'
- Stable bronze
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- see Trustees' Minutes and letter from Hallett accepting £17 or £18 on behalf of Brenchley for "the collection of inscriptions, relics, etc. contained in the two boxes already delivered to you" (ANE Correspondence, dated 3 September 1906).
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number