Beautiful Cypriot Bowl

CypriotBowlThe Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has a beautiful Cypriot bowl that predates the Knights and Sisters of Paphos. It shows some of the stunning work that was coming out of Cyprus at the time.

From their website:

Bowl, ca. 725–675 B.C.; Archaic
Cypriot; Said to be from Kourion
Gilt silver; H. 1 1/4 in. (3.10 cm)
The Cesnola Collection, Purchased by subscription, 1874–76 (74.51.4554)

The repoussé decoration on this shallow silver bowl combines a number of Egyptian, Assyrian, and Phoenician stylistic elements. In the central tondo, a four-winged deity in Assyrian dress wields a sword to kill a rampant lion. Around this central scene is a variety of animals, including two specifically Egyptian subjects: a crouching sphinx wearing the double crown of Egypt, and a lion treading over a fallen human figure, who symbolizes, in Egyptian iconography, the pharaoh conquering his enemies. The broad outer band of the bowl features a number of combat scenes: a human figure in Assyrian dress killing a rampant griffin; a falcon; an Egyptian king striking enemy captives; a falcon-headed god brandishing a sword; a human figure in loincloth killing a griffin; a winged Egyptian goddess; pairs of confronted sphinxes, goats, and griffins; a human figure dressed in a lion’s skin fighting a lion; and a cypress tree between a lion and a griffin.

Inside the bowl, an inscription reading “I am [the bowl] of Akestor, king of Paphos” was engraved above the main scene depicting a human figure in Assyrian dress killing a griffin. At some time, this inscription was partly obliterated, and another inscription was engraved above the scene of a human figure dressed in a lion’s skin fighting a lion. It reads: “I am [the bowl] of Timokretes.” This is probably the most important of all the decorated metal bowls from Cyprus, not only because of its excellent state of preservation, but also because of its royal owner, King Akestor of Paphos. Akestor’s inscription was partly erased and the inscription of Timokretes was added presumably when the bowl changed hands. It is not certain when the inscription was altered, although it may have been at the beginning of the fifth century B.C., when Paphos fell to the Persians.

About frankyvivid

Franky Vivid is a poet and burlesque producer from Los Angeles. He is married to burlesque star Michelle L’amour, with whom he co-founded the international literary salon Naked Girls Reading in 2009. For four years he was the curator of the Everleigh Social Club in Chicago, an experiment in using Cyprianism to inform the operation of a private arts club. Vivid is a Freemasonic Knight Templar and founder of Paradise Garden #7. For more on Cyprianism and a continuing discussion about elements of The Seed and its underlying Philosophy and Practice, visit him at
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