Achaemenid bowl sells for £481,250 at auction
A spectacular 2,500-year-old Persian glass bowl took centre stage at Bonham’s May 1 antiquities sale at Bonham’s in London.The price of the glass Achaemenid bowl, previously valued at £30,000 to £50,000,
skyrocketed to £481,250 at auction.Madeleine Perridge, Bonhams' Head of Antiquities, commented: “The price achieved for this wonderful ancient glass bowl is a result of its incredible rarity, excellent condition, and its great provenance from a private collection. There was a great deal of interest in it from around the world.”
Experts said the limpid, green-tinged bowl was made using the lost-wax casting method in the fifth or early fourth century B.C. Its form resembles Achaemenid silver and bronze pieces, which were likely cast in similar moulds.
Artisans ground and polished the bowl to highlight its flared rim and delicate decoration, which features twelve projecting tear-shaped lobes interspersed with an equal number of elongated petals. The shallow vessel is a luxury item made from the era’s finest quality colourless glass.
The bowl was acquired by an English private collector in the 1950s, and has been passed down to relatives ever since. The Hermitage collection in St Petersburg, Russia conserves a similar piece.
The largest known collection of Persian glass, which consists of 24 vessels including a phiale or libation bowl, was recovered between 1931 and 1934 from the royal residence at Persepolis destroyed by Alexander the Great in 331 B.C.