Ancient Art Department

Ancient Art Council
Legion of Honor

100 34th Avenue, Lincoln Park
San Francisco, CA 94121


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The exterior of this hemispherical bowl is decorated with a running band of rosettes while the interior of the vessel is undecorated. Geometric designs as represented on this bowl were well known throughout the first millennium AD in the Roman West, Near East, and Central Asia. The combined use of mercury gilding and niello (already occuring on Roman silver plates of the fourth and fifth centuries AD) on the rosettes and the surrounding background creates a rich and colorful effect. The rosettes and running wave border of this drinking bowl may be associated with water and fruitfulness. 

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Silver with gilding and niello inlay

H 5.3 x Diam 13.2 cm; weight 432 grams

Museum purchase, Diane B. Wilsey; Margaret and William R. Hearst III; Michael Taylor Trust; Marcus and Eva Glaser Family through the Ancient Art Council in memory of Roger M. Glaser, PhD; You Lan Tang through the Ancient Art Council in memory of Alice Zia and Samuel K.T. Chu and of Daniel Chu; Renée Dreyfus through the Ancient Art Council in memory of Professor David Stronach; Lucy Young Hamilton; Gretchen Turner


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