Sabaean Head Stele

Culture: South Arabia/Sabaean
Period: 2nd-1st century B.C.
Material: Limestone
Dimensions: 30 cm high
Price: Sold
Ref: 6125
Provenance: English private collection, acquired 1978. Thence Spanish art market.
Condition: Some wear, especially on the nose and in the lower part of the stele, but not really affecting the total impression.
Description: Limestone funerary- or memorial stele depicting in the upper part a high, prominent relief of a stylized face. Deep eye sockets are worked in below the high, flat forehead and the long bulging eye brows. They probably once held eyes as inlays of different material of different color – maybe blue lapis lazuli. The extended eye brows merge in the centre of the face into a triangular nose. The mouth is framed by broad prominent lips and is slightly open. The moulding below the broad chin is often interpreted as a beard. The ears are protruding and accentuated by two increasing semicircles. Below the stylized face the name inscribed in Sabean letters. Extensive remains of red color, which possibly decorated the entire stele. Mounted.