A beautiful vessel like this would have been used often in Ancient Greek religious ritual and prayer. During the practice of libation wine, or other liquids like oil and honey would have been poured from a oinochoe into a phiale like this whilst prayers were recited.

It was an extremely common part of Greek religious practice and was later adopted by the Romans, who called Phiale ‘Patera.’ Therefore, an item like this would have been handled again and again, with its decorated representative of its importance.

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600-330 BC. Western Asiatic, Achaemenid or Hellenistic period. This bronze phiale or shallow bowl comprises a simple, flat rim, hemispherical walls and a flattened base. The sides are covered in five concentric registers of oval-shaped repousse designs. Phiales were used for pouring libations to the gods as well as during feasting. The Achaemenid Empire (the first Persian empire) was an ancient empire founded by Cyrus the Great and stretching from the Balkans and Eastern Europe to the Indus Valley and covering 5.5 million square kilometres at its height. This empire is also famous for being the antagonist of the Greek city states during the Greco-Persian wars. As well as fierce warriors, the Achaemenid empire produced fabulous works of art and craftsmanship, such as this bowl. After Alexander the Great conquered the Achaemenid Empire during the later 4th century BC, his short-lived Hellenistic Empire and its successor states continued the rich artisanal tradition of the Persians. Excellent condition, beautiful patina; on a custom-made stand.

Size: L:55mm / W:155mm ; 200g

Provenance: From the private collection of a Somerset gentleman; previously in an old British collection, formed in the 1980s on the UK /European art markets.

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