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Silver-gilt bowl

ca. 725–675 B.C.
Gilt silver
H. 1 1/4 in. (3.1 cm) diameter 6 5/8 in. (16.8 cm)
Gold and Silver
Credit Line:
The Cesnola Collection, Purchased by subscription, 1874–76
Accession Number:
  • Description

    The central tondo shows a winged deity of Assyrian type felling a rampant lion with a sword. The surrounding frieze presents a variety of animal and narrative motifs, including two specifically Egyptian subjects: a sphinx wearing the Egyptian double crown and a lion treading over a dead man, symbolizing the pharaoh dominating his enemies. The broad outer band features a variety of combats. Of greatest importance, however, are two inscriptions. At the top, above an Assyrianizing figure killing a lion, a Cypriot syllabic inscription reads, "I am [the bowl] of Akestor, king of Paphos." It was partly obliterated and replaced by "I am [the bowl] of Timokretes," presumably the next owner. The bowl is exceptionally significant for its excellent condition, high quality, and amalgam of Egyptian, Assyrian, and Phoenician features.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: [inside the bowl] "I am [the bowl] of Akestor, king of Paphos"; [within the medallion] "I am [the bowl] of Timokretes."

  • Provenance

    Said to be from Kourion, Cyprus (Cesnola 1877, p. 329).

    Until 1874, Cesnola Collection, excavated by General Cesnola in Kourion, Cyprus; acquired 1874, purchased from General Luigi Palma di Cesnola.

  • References

    Myres, John L. 1914. Handbook of the Cesnola Collection of Antiquities from Cyprus. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 4554.

    Harper, Prudence. 1971. "Origin and Influence--Cultural Contacts: Egypt, the Ancient Near East, and the Classical World." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 29(7): p. 322.

    von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1984. "A Greek and Roman Treasury." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 42(1): no. 10, pp. 6-7, 20 .

    Lightfoot, Christopher S. 2000. "The New Cypriot Galleries at The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Minerva, 11: no. 3: 20-21, fig. 10.

    Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 279, pp. 240, 461.

    Aruz, Joan, Kim Benzel, and Jean M. Evans. 2009. Beyond Babylon: Art, Trade, and Diplomacy in the Second Millennium B.C. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 446, fig. 143.

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History