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HOME : Classical Antiquities : Classical Masterpieces : Greek Silver Phiale
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Greek Silver Phiale - X.0085
Origin: Mediterranean
Circa: 5 th Century BC to 4 th Century BC
Dimensions: 2.125" (5.4cm) high x 5.375" (13.7cm) wide
Collection: Classical
Medium: Silver


Location: UAE
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Description
Although the interior of this silver phiale is smooth and unadorned, the exterior appears to take the form of a flower. A double rosette pattern marks the center of the bowl, while thirty-three larger petals radiate outwards along the body. Above the ridge that begins at the tips of the petals, the vessel’s lip flares slightly outwards. The decoration of this piece is indicative of earlier works hailing from the Near East. Specifically, this phiale recalls similar examples from the Persian Empire that Alexander the Great would go on to conquer, revealing the ties that existed between these two great civilizations in spite of their warring ways. Shallow bowls like this phiale were used for making libations to the gods. Precious liquid substances, such as oil or wine, would have poured forth from the lip of this silver vessel onto an altar or shrine, invoking the favor of the gods. Surely the gods must have favored this phiale, for it has survived the ravages of time in a remarkable condition. Today, it serves as a memorial to the mastery of ancient Greek metalworkers. - (X.0085)

 

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