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SKU: MV1406

A Biblical "Beehive" Unguent Jar and Lid, Hellenistic Period, ca. 3rd-1st Century BCE

Sale price1,950 USD

This object qualifies for free USA shipping and a flat rate fee of $60 if shipping internationally.

This so-called "beehive" vessel of fine banded alabaster, is conical in form, tapers to a flat base, and features two small perforated lug handles at the shoulder.  The accompanying lid also exhibits a perforated lug finial at the top. 

Vessels of this distinctive shape were used to hold perfumed oils, aromatic gum resins, incense (frankincense or myrrh), or semi-solid unguents (aromatic ointments) such as the "Balm of Gilead," described in the Bible as a particularly valuable commodity.  Such jars were one of the most desirable and highly prized commodities of Ancient Arabia.

Dimensions: Height:  4 inches  (10 cm)

Condition: Encrusted base and deposits on the interior of the jar. Some very minor ancient rim and lid edge roughness, but otherwise intact and in overall excellent condition.

Provenance: Private NYC collection, acquired from the New York trade, 1980-1990s.

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A Biblical "Beehive" Unguent Jar and Lid, Hellenistic Period, ca. 3rd-1st Century BCE
A Biblical "Beehive" Unguent Jar and Lid, Hellenistic Period, ca. 3rd-1st Century BCE Sale price1,950 USD