Inv. n°: MMoCA20

The 'Beth Shean' Bust

A monumental marble janiform herm of marmo lunense marble depicting the heads of Bacchus and Ariadne. Bacchus wears a fillet across his forehead, the centrally parted hair dressed with a rich garland of ivy leaves with two frontal clusters of berries, vine leaves, and bunches of grapes hanging behind the ears. Ariadne has softer features and a fuller face, her wavy hair is also centrally parted and dressed with delicate ivy berries and leaves.

h. 47.5 x w. 32 x d. 41 cm

2nd-3rd century AD



  • Discovered at Beth Shean, Palestine, probably in the 1930s
  • Oham, antique dealer in Jerusalem (Located opposite the King David Hotel), Jerusalem
  • Acquired by Somerset de Chair, Officer of the Royal Horse Guards (British Army) in Jerusalem and brought back to England where it remained in the private collection of de Chair family, 1941
  • On the death of Somerset Struben de Chair in 1995, it passed by descent to his eldest son, Rodney de Chair, 1995
  • Acquired at Bonhams, Sale 15940, London, 1st May 2008, lot 221


  • Somerset Struben de Chair, Somerset Struben de Chair, The Golden Carpet, Golden Cocerel Press, 1943
  • Somerset Struben de Chair, Somerset Struben de Chair, Mind on the March, Faber and Faber Ltd., London, 1945
  • Somerset Struben de Chair, Buried Pleasure, Merlin Books Ltd., Devon, 1985
  • Somerset Struben de Chair, Morning Glory, Merlin Books Ltd., Devon, 1988, p. 169
  • Bonhams London, Antiquities Sale, 1st May 2008, lot 221
  • Minerva: the International Review of Ancient Art & Archaeology, September/ October 2008, vol. XIX, no. 5, p. 47
  • The Economist, 14th April 2010, [On-line]. Available at:
  • Côte Magazine, September 2012, p. 125
  • Minerva: the International Review of Ancient Art & Archaeology, May/June 2011, vol. XXII, no. 1, p. 50
  • Sir John Boardman, "Museum Opening of the Year", Apollo Magazine, December 2011, pp. 59-60
  • J. Pollini, "Roman Marble Sculpture" in M. Merrony (ed.), Mougins Museum of Classical Art, France, 2011, p. 80, fig. 13
  • Zibeline, 23/05/2012 - 20/06/2012, n° 52, p. 60
  • Grand Sud, 2014, p. 88
  • V. García- Osuna, "Clásico Actual eterno", Tendencias del Mercado del Arte, 2014, no. 69, p. 16
  • Velocity, June 2014, p. 74
  • Beaux Arts Magazine, August 2014, p. 114
  • Beaux Arts Magazine, September 2014, p. 120
  • Nice-Matin, 7 May 2014, p. 39
  • Force One, 2017, n°15, p. 38
  • SO Cannes, Summer 2017, p. 115
  • Mougins info n°2, 2017-2018, p. 42-45
  • Zeit Riviera, January/February 2017, n° 299,p. 23
  • J. Oorthuys, "Enjoy the Experience of a Museum with Difference!MACM", Ancient Warfare, Karwansaray Publishers, The Netherlands, June/July 2020, vol. XII, issue 6, p. 59
  • J. Osgood, "Enjoy the Experience of a Museum with Difference!MACM" in J. Oorthuys (ed.), Ancient History, Karwansaray Publishers, Rotterdam, June/July 2020, no.28, p. 59
  • S. Anderson Ladd (ed.), "Chapter One: New Year, New Beginnigns", Godesses of Self-Care - 30 Divine Feminine Archetypes to Guide You, USA, 2022, p. 30
  • R. Leung, "From 4th-Century Greek Vases to Female Abstract Expressionism", Larry's List, 2022, [On-line]. Available at:


  • Subsequently exhibited at the family home of Chilham Castle, near Canterbury, Kent, UK, until 1948
  • Thence, at the family home of St Osyth's Priory, near Colchester, Essex, UK, from 1958
  • Musée d'Art Classique de Mougins (MACM), Mougins, France, from June 2011

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