Art/ Collection/ Art Object

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:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 174
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.
Inscription: [inside the bowl] "I am [the bowl] of Akestor, king of Paphos"; [within the medallion] "I am [the bowl] of Timokretes."
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.
Cesnola, Luigi Palma di. 1878. Cyprus: Its Ancient Cities, Tombs, and Temples. A Narrative of Researches and Excavations During Ten Years' Residence in That Island. pp. 328-29, New York: Harper & Brothers.

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

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 .

Matthäus, Hartmut. 1985. Metallgefässe und Gefässuntersätze der Bronzezeit, der geometrischen und archaischen Periode auf Cypern: mit einem Anhang der bronzezeitlichen Schwertfunde auf Cypern, Prähistorische Bronzefunde, Abteilung II Bd. 8. cat. 429, pp. 164-5, 376, pl. 37, 429, München: Beck.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1987. Greece and Rome. no. 4, pp. 16-7, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Masson, Olivier and Antoine Hermary. 1990. "Deux vases inscrits du Sanctuaire d'Aphrodite à Amathonte (1865-1987)." Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique, 114(1): p. 198, fig. 14.

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

Karageorghis, Vassos, Joan Mertens, and Marice E. Rose. 2000. Ancient Art from Cyprus: The Cesnola Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. no. 299, pp. 182-3, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Karageorghis, Vassos. 2002. Early Cyprus: Crossroads of the Mediterranean. pl. 321, Los Angeles, California: J. Paul Getty Museum.

Iacovou, Maria. 2003. "The Late Bronze Age Origins of Cypriot Hellenism and the Establishment of the Iron Age Kingdoms." From Ishtar to Aphrodite: 3200 years of Cypriot Hellenism, Treasures from the Museums of Cyprus pp. 79-85, fig. 7.

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

Stylianou, Andreas and Patrick Schollmeyer. 2007. "Der Sarkophag aus Golgoi." Dynastensarkophage mit szenischen Reliefs aus Byblos und Zypern: Der Sarkophag aus Amathous als Beispiel kontaktinduzierten Wandels, 2. p. 151 n. 1246, pl. 38c, Mainz am Rhein: Philipp von Zabern.

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

Satraki, Anna. 2013. "The Iconography of Basileis in Archaic and Classical Cyprus: Manifestations of Royal Power in the Visual Record." Bulletin of the American School of Oriental Research, 370: pp. 128-29, 134, fig. 3.

Tassignon, Isabelle. 2013. "Le "Seigneur aux lions" d'Amathonte : étude d'iconographie et d'histoire des religions des statues trouvées sur l'agora." Études Chypriotes, 18: p. 37, fig. 20.

Aruz, Joan, Sarah B. Graff, and Yelena Rakic. 2014. Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age. no. 52, pp. 159-60, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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