Libation bowl (phiale mesomphalos)

Greek
Late Orientalizing Period
about 625 B.C.


Catalogue Raisonné

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

Dimensions

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

Accession Number

21.1843

Medium or Technique

Gold

On View

Greek Archaic Gallery (Gallery 113)

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Vessels

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.”

Inscription

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

Provenance

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