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A SOUTH ARABIAN BRONZE COUPLE
A SOUTH ARABIAN BRONZE COUPLE

CIRCA MID 3RD CENTURY A.D.

Details
A SOUTH ARABIAN BRONZE COUPLE Circa Mid 3rd Century A.D. Cast with a lovemaking scene, the woman lying on her back with her legs raised, her right hand holding her lover's neck, her left resting on his back, a bracelet on each wrist, an armlet on her right arm and an anklet on both ankles, her hair bound in a chignon, the man with his arms in similar position, his hair with striations, an inscription on his shoulders with the proper name "Malihum," a longer inscription on her back reading, "Amat Yasmaw has confessed (her) sin, (even) the daughter of Bashemat" 4¾ in. (12 cm) long
Provenance
Acquired by the previous owner circa 1985

Lot Essay

This bronze and several others similar were made as part of punishment for an illegal act, in this case for a disallowed sexual encounter, to be put on public display in a temple. For a related example see figs. 1-3 in Al-Mazroo, "A Unique Coupled Statuette from Najran (Saudia Arabia)," Arabian Archaeology & Epigraphy; and for a plaque showing a similar scene see p. 125 in Robin and Vogt, eds., Yémen au pays de la reine de Saba.

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