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Lot 2302: Western Asiatic Phiale Mesomphalos with Dove
December 9, 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: 3rd century BC-2nd century AD. A deep silver bowl with rounded underside and thickened rim; incised parcel-gilt image of a bird with a frond in its beak to the centre, short incised Pahlavi(?) inscription in two lines to one side. 176 grams, 15.5cm (6"). Property of a North West London gentleman; formerly with a central London gallery in 1990. The bird is possibly a dove or a peacock, both of which were sacred to the Persian goddess Anahita, a cosmological figure venerated as the divinity of water and hence associated with fertility, healing and wisdom. Due to her fertility associations she became connected to the Babylonian goddess Ishtar. Her worship was widespread across the Middle East and even reached Rome.This bowl is possibly a libation vessel used in the worship of the goddess.
Condition Report: Very fine condition.