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Oil Flask
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Oil Flask

Description Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description This flask is decorated with images of Christ, the Virgin, and two military saints (Sergios and Bacchos?), represented with the soft, voluminous drapery and staring eyes typical of the art of Byzantine Syria. The inscription tells how the donors, Megale and her family, gave this flask in fulfillment of a vow and for the eternal salvation of departed souls. The flask, the original lid and chain of which are now lost, was probably used to hold consecrated oil for the rite of baptism, or for the anointing of the sick or dying.
  • Early Christian and Byzantine Art. Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore. 1947.
  • Illuminated Manuscripts: Masterpieces in Miniature. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984-1985.
  • Silver Treasure from Early Byzantium. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1986.
Provenance [Excavated in Syria, 1908-1910]; Tawfic Abucasem, Hama and Port Said, ca. 1913, by purchase; Joseph Brummer, Paris, ca. 1928, by purchase; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1929, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Transcription] + Ὑπὲρ εὐχῆς καὶ σωτηρίας Μεγάλης / + καὶ τ῱ν αὐτῆς τέκνων καὶ ἀνεψιῶ(ν) κα(ὶ) / ὑπὲρ ἀναπαύσεως Ἡλιοδώρου καὶ Ἀκακίου.; [Translation] + For the prayer and salvation of Megale and of her children and nephews, and for the repose of the soul of Heliodorus and Acacius.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1929

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late 6th century (Late Antique)
(Gold, Silver & Jewelry)
Accession Number
H: 8 3/4 x Diam: 2 5/16 in. (22.3 x 5.8 cm); Diam at base: 2 5/16 in. (5.9 cm); Diam of outer spout: 7/8 in. (2.2 cm)
  • Syria, Kurin (Place of Discovery)


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