Libation bowl (phiale mesomphalos)

Late Orientalizing Period
about 625 B.C.

Catalogue Raisonné

Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 048.


Height: 15 cm (5 7/8 in.); diameter: 15 cm (5 7/8 in.); weight: 835.46 grams (29 1/2 oz.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

Greek Archaic Gallery (Gallery 113)


The Ancient World



One of the earliest surviving examples of a phiale in precious metal and a rare example in gold, this vesselis simply decorated, segmented into nine lobes and embellished with bands of beading on parts of the interior. On the exterior, just below the rim, an incised inscription in archaic Corinthian dialect reads: “The sons of Kypselos dedicated [this bowl] from Heraklea.”


"The sons of Kypselos dedicated [this bowl] from Heraclea" (on exterior just under rim).


By 1921: with Mr. D. K. Tseklenis and Mr. Stratos, 34 Bromfield Street, Boston (said to come from Olympia, discovered five years ago east of the Altis between the stadium and the river Alpheios, in the bank of a small torrent formed by winter rains); purchased by MFA, September 1, 1921, for $8,000.00

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1912