Parthian Bowl

Item #: 3996

Date:ca. 2nd – 1st century BCE

Medium:Parcel gilt-silver

Size: 7 13/16“ Diam. – x 2 1/8“ H

Testing Reports:

Description:With its curved bottom, plain exterior and extensively adorned interior, this parcel gilded silver vessel is typical of the finest drinking bowls of the Parthians from the few last centuries BCE. Just beneath the rim is a band of circles, geometric step-shapes and wave patterns. The curves of the waves are echoed in the middle decorative register, which is filled with scrolling grape vines, highlighted by delicate tiny flowers. A variation on a quatrefoil pattern graces the interior bottom of the vessel. Four spear shaped petals are offset by four ribbed leaves, with scalloped edges. In the center rests a tiny flower with heart-shaped petals. This elaborate floral element lies in a field of scrolling vines on a dimpled background, enclosed by a ring which repeats the circle and wave patterns from beneath the rim. Drinking bowls with related patterns are among the collection of the Getty Villa, which houses an exceptional display of ancient gold and silver from the Hellenistic world.

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