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Ca. 4th-3rd century BC

A rare Hellenistic cast silver bowl with a beautiful incised rosette design. The vessel boasts a broad body that gracefully tapers down to a convex base. The neck is slightly concave and accentuated with a double groove collar which expands outwards to a slightly flared, thick rim. The bowl of the vessel is deep, smooth, and hemispherical. it is adorned with an elaborate, cold-worked six-petalled rosette in the centre.

Silver vessels of this nature were highly prized and rarely survive in the archaeological record. They functioned primarily as drinking vessels and were used as dinnerware at the most important banquets in Greco-Roman society. Other vessels of similar construction to this one may also have been used to make libations, substituting the more common phiale. Following the Roman conquest of the Greek world in the 2nd century BC, silver tableware became a preoccupation of the Roman elite. Vessels such as this are often featured in accounts by writers such as Pliny and Plutarch to illustrate the growing opulence and excess of the wealthy, becoming synonymous with luxury.


Provenance: Property of a West London gentleman; previously in a collection formed on the UK/International art market in the 1990s.


  • Dimensions

     L: 75mm / W: 140mm ; 325g

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