Silver-gilt bowl

Period: Archaic

Date: ca. 725–675 B.C.

Culture: Cypriot

Medium: Gilt silver

Dimensions: H. 1 1/4 in. (3.1 cm)
diameter 6 5/8 in. (16.8 cm)

Classification: Gold and Silver

Credit Line: The Cesnola Collection, Purchased by subscription, 1874–76

Accession Number: 74.51.4554


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.