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Lot 2301: Western Asiatic Neo-Elamite Phiale Mesomphalos with Decorated Centre

Antiquities: Day 4

by TimeLine Auctions

December 9, 2016

London, United Kingdom

Live Auction
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Description: 7th-6th century BC. A silver phiale mesompholos with intersecting bulbous petals to the base, flaring rim and to the centre a central boss decorated with rosette and framed by lines. Accompanied by an Art Loss Register certificate. 157 grams, 12.5cm (5"). Private collection, London, UK; formed 1970s-1980s. Accompanied by a positive X-Ray Fluorescence metal analysis certificate. Elam was an ancient pre-Iranian civilization with its capital at Susa. Its culture played a crucial role during the Persian Achaemenid dynasty that succeeded Elam, when the Elamite language remained among those in official use. Elamite is generally accepted to be a language isolate and thus unrelated to the much later arriving Persian and Iranic languages. The neo-Elamite period is distinguished by the migration of Indo-European speaking Iranian peoples into the area, known as Medes from ancient sources. Among these pressuring tribes were the Parsu, first recorded in 844 BC as living on the southeastern shore of Lake Urmiah, but who by the end of this period would cause the Elamites' original home, the Iranian Plateau, to be renamed Persia proper. Phiale Mesamphalos were the most popular form of drinking vessels and were produced in a number of materials, from clay through to silver and gold. They were used in banquets held by the nobility, but were also used to pour libations at religious festivals. They were a common gift from the king to the nobility which helped cement alliances among the different tribes of the Empire. They were also used as diplomatic gifts to visiting dignitaries and they were extremely popular in the kingdom of Macedonia where they were used for purely religious purposes.

Condition Report: Very fine condition.

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