Large Sabaean Ibex Frieze of an Alabaster Altar

Culture: Sabaean
Period: 4th-3rd century B.C.
Material: Alabaster
Dimensions: 6.2 cm x 27.8 cm x 22.5 cm
Price: 6 000 Euro
Ref: 6430
Provenance: From the private estate of the renowned Parisian art dealer François Antonovich (1934-2022), acquired in the 1970s.
Condition: Unrestored and intaxt and except for some small wear, especially on the ibex head far right.
Description: Large alabaster frieze with ten stylized ibexes which forms the end of an altar plate. The ibexes are en face arranged next to each other. The sculptural heads with long, rectangular snouts and large button-like eyes. The heads tapering towards the top, whereby on the sides the rounded horns are protruding. Behind the frieze a large almost square and on top flattened altar plate. Ibex friezes also appear in the architectural structure of sacral buildings – for example on the Bar’an Temple from Ma’rib. In addition to its importance as a symbolic animal of various southern Arabian deities, the ibex also stands for fertility. See for the type “Jemen – Kunst und Archäologie im Land der Königin von Saba”, Wilfried Seipel (Hrsg.), No. 230, pages 319-320, as well as No. 234, pages 321-322.