|Sabaea in Yemen|
Take a look at this rather unlovely thing. What is the point of collecting something like this? It is a hunk of carved stone with a face on it (we all know how collectors like things with faces on them). It is an artefact, but is it art? Rather than being 'stylized' as the dealer has it, it's downright crude, flat face with monobrow, triangular nose, slit mouth and schematic rhomboid eyes. This is not, surely, a portrait of the ŠYB | ẒHRN from whose grave this was removed. The collector who buys this cannot be imagining he's buying ancient art, or even 'primitive art'. I imagine the person who buys this for 4200 bucks sees it as a trophy, marking him out as some kind of connoisseur with 'refined' (read oddball) tastes.