Marble Plate

Greek, classical period, 4th century B.C.
Diam. 23.3 cm (9 11⁄64 in)

Coins & Antiquities, London, May 1977
Private collection, Switzerland, acquired from the above, thence by descent to the present owner

Exhibition catalogue 'Othryades', 23

Photini Zaphiropoulou
Vases et autres objets de marbre de Rhénée, in : BCH 1973, Suppl 1, 601-636

Jasper Gaunt
The Classical Marble Pyxis and Dexillas, in : AMILLA, The Quest for Excellence, Studies Presented to Guenter Kopcke in Celebration of His 75th Birthday (Prehistory Monographs 43), 381-398.

Jasper Gaunt
A Marble Krater from Samothrace, in : Samothracian Connections, Essays in Honor of James R. McCredie, Olga Palagia and Bonna D. Wescoat (eds.), 173-178

This semi-translucent plate is made of fine crystalline Parian marble and displays expertly delicate and artistic workmanship. The plate has a shallow, rounded form with a flattened rim contoured on the interior and a concentric circle adorning the interior of the plate. A circular embossment on the underside forms its base.

This elegant marble plate was most likely part of an exotic and luxurious set of tableware. Although the production of stone vessels in votive or sepulchral contexts is well documented in Greece since the 3rd millennium or earlier, the use of stone tableware rather than precious metal seems to be from a later date and a practice that the Greeks borrowed from their far richer neighbors in Lydia, Persia, and to a lesser extent Egypt.

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