Ancient Near East, Achaemenid Persian Empire (Iran), ca. 550 to 330 BCE. A lovely bronze bowl with small attached "button" at center decorated with eight large, raised, rounded petals, each of which has added incised decoration that creates a shell-like texture on the interior and exterior of the bowl. Libation bowls, known as phiale, 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. 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 they were hoping to influence. Size: 8" W x 1.8" H (20.3 cm x 4.6 cm)
Provenance: private Orange County, California, USA collection, acquired before 2000
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