This bowl is the earliest of the Museum's traditional phialai with a pronounced omphalos (navel), or central boss; the hollow underside furnished a grip for two fingers when the phiale was tilted to pour a libation. Stylized lotos blossoms are engraved on the gently curving surface of the bowl. The boss, with its collar decorated with embossed animals, was originally covered by another gilded metal layer, as on the adjacent bowl.
von Bothmer, Dietrich, Joan R. Mertens, and Maxwell L. Anderson. 1980. "Greek and Roman Art." Notable Acquisitions (Metropolitan Museum of Art), No. 1980/1981: p. 11.
Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1981. "One Hundred Eleventh Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1980 through June 30, 1981." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 111: p. 37.
von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1984. "A Greek and Roman Treasury." Bulletin of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 42(1): no. 12, pp. 6, 21.
Cohen, Beth. 1989. "Oddities of Very Early Red-Figure and a New Fragment at the Getty." Greek Vases in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Vol. 4. p. 78 n. 30, Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum.