Ariadne Galleries

Four Ibex Hoof Throne Legs with Inscription
Period: Fifth century BC
Culture: South Arabian
Material: Alabaster
Dimensions: 22.5 cm H
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Four finely carved legs, one inscribed with the Sabaean script. The fabric has a soft appearance, which attests to the relatively soft natural properties of this beautiful stone and its polished finish, with subtle veining throughout. On the upper area of each leg the cut tapered projections were designed to fit into the lower socket of the small entablature of the throne. The cloven hooves of the ibex are skillfully modeled with a series of incisions and the area approximating to the heal of the animal is undercut to produce this anatomical feature. Ibexes are of great significance in South Arabian religion and depicted in subject matter across a range of artistic media. It alludes to Almaquh, the national god of the Sabaeans, who presided over the ibex and evokes the participation of rulers in sacred ibex hunts.



Private Collection, North America, 1980s.