Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Gold phiale (libation bowl)

Late Classical or Hellenistic
4th–3rd century B.C.
H. 1 7/16 in. (3.6 cm); diameter 9 1/4 in. (23.5 cm)
Gold and Silver
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1962
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 163
Inscribed on the base sketchily in Greek, "Pausi[ ]," and more deeply engraved in Punic (Carthaginian) characters, an indication of weight

This libation bowl, decorated with bees, acorns, and beechnuts, is worked in repoussé. Phialai decorated with acorns were being made by the late sixth century B.C. and must have been traditional. Acorns could also be seen on the phialai held by the caryatids of the Erechtheum on the Akropolis in Athens, as we learn from Roman copies found in Hadrian's villa at Tivoli.
Inscription: In Greek: "Pausi[ ]" and also a designation of weight in Punic characters
[Until 1962, with Robert E. Hecht, Jr.]; acquired in 1962, purchased from Robert E. Hecht.
von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1962. "A Gold Libation Bowl." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 21(4): pp. 154-5, figs. 2-8.

Amandry, Pierre. 1963. Collection Hélène Stathatos: Ojets Antiques et Byzantins, Vol. 3. p. 232 n. 2, 3, Strasbourg: l'Institut d'archéologie de l'Université de Strasbourg.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1963. "Ninety-Third Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year 1962-1963." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 22(2): p. 71.

von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1964. Guide to the Collections: Greek and Roman Art. pp. 30-1, fig. 42, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Strong, Donald. 1966. Greek and Roman Gold and Silver Plate. pp. 97-8, pl. 32A, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Byvanck-Quarles van Ufford, Lili. 1966. "Remarques sur ler relations entre l’Ionie grecque, La Thrace et l’Italie." Babesch: Bulletin Antieke Beschavung, 41: p. 40, fig. 7.

Beeson, Nora B. 1972. Guide to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Hoving, Thomas and Carmen Gómez-Moreno. 1973. "Gold." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 31(2): pp. 74-75.

Cardon, Carol Moon. 1978-79. "Two Omphalos Phialai." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal, 6-7: p. 131.

von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1984. "A Greek and Roman Treasury." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 42(1): no. 86, pp, 10, 50.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1987. Greece and Rome. no. 61, p. 82, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Pfrommer, Michael. 1987. Studien zu Alexandrinischer und Grossgriechischer Toreutik frühhellenistischer Zeit, Archäologische Forschungen 16. p. 62 n. 344, Berlin: Mann.

Vickers, Michael. 1988. "Demus’s Gold Phiale (Lysias 19.25)." American Journal of Ancient History, 9(1): pp. 48-53, pl. 3a.

1994. Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide: Works of Art Selected by Philippe De Montebello no. 26, p. 172, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Bodel, John P. and Stephen Tracy. 1997. Greek and Latin Inscriptions in the USA: A Checklist. p. 193, Rome: The American Academy in Rome.

Manchester, Karen. 1999. "The New Greek and Roman Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art." Apollo, 150: p. 7, fig. 7.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 231, pp. 195, 450, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Hecht Robert. 2014. Bob Hecht by Bob Hecht, Geraldine Norman, ed. pp. xi, 52, fig. 4.

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