Large Published Bust of Dionysus with a Sabaean Inscription

Culture: Roman/Arabia Felix
Period: 1st century A.D.
Material: Bronze
Dimensions: 18.5 cm high
Price: 28 000 Euro
Ref: 3456
Provenance: Private collection Shlomo Moussaieff (1925-2015), Israel. Acquired between 1948 and 2000. With a copy of the publication by Francois Bron.
Condition: Intact
Description: Important and high-quality bronze bust of Dionysus with a two-line inscription above the chest. The powerfully depicted god with a naked upper body and finely modelled chest- and upper arm musculature. The head facing to the right and in the style of the Hellenistic Alexander portraits gazing into the distance. Dionysus has his thick hair parted in the centre and pulled back into a bun. Long strands cascade right and left to the shoulder. The god wears a wreath of grapes and leaves, which adorn his head. Engraved on his chest is a two-line dedication in South Arabian letters. The inscription reads: "Amm’aman Yuha’min Watar has erected (this bust) in Hirran." According to Francois Bron, the worldwide leading expert for Sabaean inscriptions, it is of extraordinary rarity that the non-royal name Amm’aman is affixed with even two surnames, i.e. Yuha-min and Watar. The bust of finest quality was inspected by Bron in the Moussaieff collection, published and described in “Ètudes Bibliques et Proche-Orient ancien – Mélanges offerts au Père Paul Feghali”, Subsidia 1, page 40, Beirut 2002. Mounted.