• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1915

    Antiquities

    6 December 2007, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 79

    A SOUTH ARABIAN ALABASTER LIDDED "BEEHIVE" JAR

    CIRCA 3RD CENTURY B.C.-1ST CENTURY A.D.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A SOUTH ARABIAN ALABASTER LIDDED "BEEHIVE" JAR
    CIRCA 3RD CENTURY B.C.-1ST CENTURY A.D.
    Conical in form, on a flat base, with a short cylindrical rim and twin stylized bull-head handles perforated horizontally, the lid surmounted by a standing lion, also perforated
    6 in. (15.2 cm.) high


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    More than seventy "beehive" vessels have been published, most coming from the southwest of the Arabian peninsula. One inscribed example (p. 56 in Simpson, Queen of Sheba: Legend and Reality), confirms that "these were indeed used in the incense trade, and that they may even be regarded as branded packaging for one of the most desirable commodities of ancient Arabia."

    Provenance

    German Private Collection, 1980.