no image
Lot 117
A South Arabian bronze penitential tablet for a woman Qalfum
£12,000 - 15,000
US$ 15,000 - 19,000

Lot Details
A South Arabian bronze penitential tablet for a woman Qalfum
Circa 1st Century A.D.
With seven lines of Sabaean text in relief, reading 'Qalfum, daughter of Maltum has confessed (her sin) and done penance' to (the god) Dhu-Samawy, Lord of 'Adhnan, because she had menstruated in his temple. She (was) sent/exposed upon a mountain (?) through his oracle. So (then) she humbled herself and abased herself and paid (a fine?) [or 'was pardoned'], a raised border surrounding, pierced in each corner for attachment to the temple wall, 8in (20.3cm) x 5¾in (14.5cm), mounted

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    UK private collection, acquired in 2001.
    French private collection, formed in the 1980s.

    Literature:
    Accompanied by a copy of a report from Professor Kenneth Kitchen, Liverpool University who states that the tablet originates from the former Ma'in region, The style of the script places the tablet in the period of 1st-2nd Century A.D. It belongs to a group of penitential texts. The source of the tablet can be concluded from the rare use of a place name, 'Adnan'. The text refers to the well-known god Dhu-Samawy, as 'Lord of Adnan', worshipped by the Amir people, north of the Kingdom of Ma'in. It refers to an offence against a deity, and the subsequent penance, such as paying a fine and the placing of a tablet in the temple.

    Women in old South Arabia were able to dedicate inscriptions in temples which could be penitential or prayers for well being. For further discussion of Sabaen women's inscriptions see M. Maraqten, 'Women's inscriptions recently discovered by the AFSM at the Awām temple/MaΉram Bilqīs in Marib, Yemen', in Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, 38, 2008, pp. 231–250. Maraqten refers to other inscriptions concerning the purification of women during menstruation and after childbirth: op.cit. pp.242.
Activities
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:
A successful bidder at this sale will be required to pay Bonhams 1793 Limited ("Bonhams") a premium calculated as follows:
25% on the first £100,000 of the hammer price
20% on the excess of £100,001 and up to £2,000,000 of the hammer price
12% on the excess of £2,000,001 of the hammer price

VAT at 20% will be payable on the amount of the premium.

The premium is payable for the services to be provided by Bonhams in the Buyer's Agreement which is contained in the catalogue for this Sale and for the opportunity to bid for the Lot at the Sale.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, cheque with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveller's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Contacts
  1. Customer Services (UK)
    Customer services
    Bonhams
    Work
    Work +44 20 7447 7447
    FaxFax: +44 20 7447 7401
  2. New Bond Street
    General enquiries
    Bonhams
    Work
  3. Shipping (UK)
    Logistics - Shipping
    Bonhams
    Work
    Work +44 20 7468 8302
    FaxFax: + 44 20 7629 9673
Similar Items