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Parcel-gilt silver bowl on high foot inlaid with niello

The body of the bowl is softly fluted on the exterior, while the gilded surface of the interior is plain and smooth, a feature indicating that the body is double-skinned.  The rim is decorated with a continuous wave pattern inlaid with niello as are the two concentric roundels at the bottom of the bowl.  At the centre, an eight-pointed star containing a wreathed roundel with a partridge or pea hen. The outer roundel is engraved with a diaper pattern of small diamonds containing rosettes

Until recently considered Sassanian on account of its shape, the nielloed decoration on the rim and in the centre finds many direct parallels in Late Roman-Early Byzantine silver which directly contradict this attribution.

Eastern Mediterranean

Height: 9 cm
Diameter: 18.40 cm
Weight: 582 g

Collection of R H, New York, 1980s
Gorny & Mosch Auction sale, Munich, 16/06/ 2016, lot 369