Near East

Head of a man - Alabaster and plaster

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Head of a man - Alabaster and plaster

Head of a man.
Alabaster and plaster. Height 26 cm.
In the form of a rectangular stele with a stylised mask-like face in relief, depicted with flat brows and almond-shaped eyes recessed once for inlay, one eye still retaining the white plaster inlay with blue-glass rim, with a large straight nose and a schematic beard beneath the raised dimpled chin, the reverse of the stele with plaster remaining.
3rd-1st century B.C. Arabia felix.
The plaster inlay of the left eye restored.

This head is probably from Marib, the capital of the Sabaean kingdom. There is a very similar head in the National Museum of Yemen, Sana’a. See S. de Maigret, Yémen au pays de la reine de Saba, 1997, p. 24.

Property from the collection of the late Ralph Hinshelwood Daly.
In 1955 Daly joined the Colonial Service and was posted to the Aden Protectorates that today form the Republic of Yemen. It was here that he met and married his wife Elizabeth Anne Daly (née Fenton Wells) and acquired the collection of alabaster sculptures. In 1967 the Aden Protectorates became independant from Britain and Ralph, awarded an OBE for his work, retired from the Colonial Service and returned with Elizabeth to Europe, taking their collection of alabasters with them.


€ 30 000 ,-