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Head of a Bearded Saint

Byzantine, Byzantine period, ca. 330-1453 CE
early 12th century
3.9 cm x 4 cm x 0.7 cm (1 9/16 in. x 1 9/16 in. x 1/4 in.)

Not on view


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Additional Image Reverse

The head of a bearded saint is carved in shallow relief on a pale green steatite fragment broken on all sides. Carved in shallow relief, the head a saint with distinctly pointed ears is high and rounded and covered by a smooth cap of hair indicated by lightly incised lines running back to front; the hair of his long beard, divided into locks, is rendered by more lightly incised lines. Around the head is a halo with a curvilinear pattern accented by triangular jabs of the chisel, and a beaded border.

The reverse is scored.

Acquisition History
Purchased from George Zacos (dealer) in 1967 (according to R. Hecht).

Purchased from Robert E. Hecht, Jr. (dealer), New York City, 1999.

Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, D.C.