- Museum number
Calcite-alabaster frieze carved along the full length with fruiting vine; polished surfaces.
- Production date
Height: 22.50 centimetres
Length: 130 centimetres
Weight: 43 kilograms
Thickness: 7 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Vine scroll decoration was a particularly popular form of architectural decoration in the Classical world: a similar style of decoration occurred, for instance, on the north portico of the second-century AD Sanctuary of Bel in Palmyra and it was adopted and widely used in South Arabia (Seyrig 1940, 313-14, fig. 22; Grohmann 1965, taf. IX: 1). The motif of leaves, vines and grapes was used on monumental architecture at Marib and Shabwa (see Pirenne J 1957a) and this form of decoration was occasionally also employed on portable items such as incense burners (see Simpson StJ 2002a, cat. 110).
Seyrig, H., 1940. "Antiquites syriennes. 32. Ornamenta Palmyrena antiquiora", 'Syria' 21, 277-337, pls XXIX-XXXV.
Bowers Catalogue entry:
Frieze decorated with a fruited grapevine pattern
2nd century AD
Height 22.5 cm, width 130 cm, thickness 7 cm
ANE 1966-12-13,1 = 134886 Purchased from Professor Robert Bertram Serjeant (1915-1993)
Fruited grapevine decoration was a particularly popular form of architectural decoration in the Classical world: a similar style of decoration occurred, for instance, on the north portico of the 2nd century AD Sanctuary of Bel in the Syrian oasis-city of Palmyra. This form of decoration was occasionally also employed on portable items such as incense-burners.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2005 25 Jun-11 Sept, Washington, Smithsonian (Arthur M Sackler Gallery), 'Caravan Kingdoms: Yemen and the ancient incense trade'
2004-2005 17 Oct-13 Mar, California, Bowers Museum, 'Queen of Sheba: Legend and Reality'
2002 5 Jun-13 Oct, BM, 'Queen of Sheba: Treasures from ancient Yemen'
1976-1997 BM, West Stairs: South Arabian Landing [SAL], south wall
- Good; previously broken into two parts, since restored and held together with copper cramps which nevertheless do not prevent some movement; old crack some 40 cm from one end; must be lifted with care to avoid pressure on the join, and thus now mounted on a module.
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- First offered by Brian Doe to R.D. Barnett in a letter dated 23 June 1966, where described as "a very good frieze of interwined [sic] vine stems, leaves and grapes. It is about 4 feet long and some 9" - 12" wide - complete. I have got it for about "200"; photograph enclosed. The object was sent back by Doe and deposited in his name by Miss H. Scott (then an Antiquities Officer in Aden) of 1 Park Hill Road, London NW3 on 29/7/66 (item number 2017), when described as "S[outh] Arabian frieze in 4 parts". Subsequent correspondence between Doe and Barnett deals with payment to Professor R.B. Serjeant (mis-spelt as Sargent in some records); Keeper's Correspondence, dated 14 July, 16 August, 26 September, 6 November, 11 November 1966. Reported to Trustees for Board 10 December 1966. Acquisition noted in the 'British Museum Quarterly' 32 (1967/68), p.58.
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: LuBM 1 (publication siglum)