- Museum number
Shallow copper alloy bowl: with gently curving sides and a slightly raised central part. Four pairs of winged falcon-headed sphinxes confront each other. The sphinxes wear aprons with projecting uraei and the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. Each has a front paw raised and resting on the head of a human figure. Between the confronted sphinxes are papyrus columns, and above them winged sun-discs, while between each pair of sphinxes is a large papyrus column supporting a winged scarab beetle holding a sun-disc with double uraei. In the centre of the bowl is a floral motif surrounded by five friezes of lotus flowers. There are bands of a cable pattern above and below the sphinxes.
- Production date
Diameter: 21.70 centimetres
Height: 2.85 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- This bowl is classified by Barnett among the 'marsh pattern' bowls of his group I (1974: 21-2), which are characterised by the extensive use of what is in fact 'a very degenerate lotus-pattern'. There is at least one other bowl from Nimrud with papyrus columns and sphinxes (Layard 1853a: pl. 68, top centre = N12), and two comparable examples from the Idaean Cave in Crete (Markoe 1985: 234-5, Cr 2-3). The 'marsh pattern' is quite common amongst the Nimrud bowls. The clearly Egyptian character of the motifs on this bowl indicates that it was made in a workshop much influenced by Egyptian taste, probably in Phoenicia.
A. H. Layard, ‘Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon’ (London, 1853), 185-6, no. 1;
A. H. Layard., ‘A Second Series of the Monuments of Nineveh’ (London, 1853), pl. 63;
R. D. Barnett, ‘Layard’s Nimrud bronzes and their inscriptions’. ‘Eretz-Israel’ 8 (1967), pl. II;
R. D. Barnett, ‘The Nimrud Bowls in The British Museum’. ‘Rivista di Studi Fenici’ 2 (1974), pl. X;
G. Markoe, ‘Phoenician Bronze and Silver Bowls from Cyprus and the Mediterranean’ (University of California Publications: Classical Studies 26). (Berkeley/Los Angeles, 1985).
- On display (G57/dc12)
- Exhibition history
2014-2015 22 Sep-5 Jan, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 'Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age'
2013-2014 22 June-6 Jan, Toronto, Royal Ontario Museum, 'Mesopotamia, Inventing Our World'
2013: 30 Jan-13 May, Museum of History, Hong Kong, 'The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia'
2012: 4 May-7 Oct, Melbourne Museum, 'The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia'
2011 28 March-26 June, Abu Dhabi, Manarat Al Saadiyat, 'Splendours of Mesopotamia'
2008-2009 21 Sept-4 Jan, Boston, MFA, 'Art and Empire'
2007 2 Apr-30 Sept, Alicante, MARQ Museum, 'Art and Empire'
2006 1 Jul-7 Oct, Shanghai Museum, 'Art and Empire'
2004 24 Sept-2005 30 Jan, Karlsruhe, Badisches Landesmuseum, 'Hannibal ad portas'(ex-catalogue)
1991 11 Apr-30 Jun, Germany, Munich, Archäologische Staatssammlung, Die Phoenzier im Zeitalter Homers CANCELLED
1991 25 Jan-17 Mar, Germany, Hamburg, Archäologisches Museum Hamburg, Die Phoenzier im Zeitalter Homers
1990 13-25 Sep, Germany, Hanover, Museum August Kestner, Die Phoenzier im Zeitalter Homers
1988 Feb-Nov, Italy, Venice, Palazzo Grassi, I Fenici
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number