Classical World, Greece, late Archaic to Classical period, ca. 6th to 4th century BCE. An exceptional shallow silver bowl of simple, elegant form, with a flanged, broad rim and a body tapering to a gently concave base. In tondo on the interior, at the flanged edge, and under the rim on the exterior are incised, thin concentric circles. Size: 6.1" W x 1.25" H (15.5 cm x 3.2 cm); total weight: 204.2 grams
Libation bowls, known as phiale or patera, were used across a wide geographical area - from Greece to Tibet, throughout the ancient Near East and Central Asia. These shallow bowls for holding wine in ritual and ceremonial settings were made from many materials - glass, ceramic, and many kinds of metal. They were also given as prizes. Royal vessels were made of precious metals, like this one. They functioned both as tableware and as wealth - they could be stored in the royal treasury or given as gifts to people the giver was hoping to influence. Many of the ones we know of today were found in sanctuaries, placed as offerings.
Provenance: East Coast collection, New York Gallery, New York City, New York, USA, acquired before 2010
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Slight surface pitting and chipping commensurate with age. Attractive patina from age and handling.