The largest, the most interesting and most important vessel of the entire Panagyurishte Thracian Gold treasure set is the amphora-rhyton. This vessel, because of the two openings in the bottom, is believed to have been used for friend-making ritual: two men could drink from it simultaneously or could pour themselves the liquid by placing under it another two vessels. The amphora has an egg-shaped body, elegant neck and two handles, modelled as bodies of centaurs. The walls and the bottom depict two scenes divided by floral ornaments. The one at the bottom presents the young Heracles who throttles the two snakes, one lying, obviously drunken, bearded satyr and two Negro’s heads with pierced mouths, through which the liquid is poured. The modelling of the decoration at the bottom is more carelessly and unprofessionally done compared to the one on the body, which brings the supposition that the two scenes have not been worked out by the same master.
The composition of the walls is developed around an exquisitely depicted double-winged door “carpentered” from wooden planks “affixed” with iron nails whose round heads go in rows. The wings and the roof slab have incised ornaments which so much resemble the decoration of the Strelcha mound-mausoleum that we can definitely presuppose that the artist must have had in mind this very mound, or similar one. Through the slightly open wings of the door on the amphora from Panagyurishte is protruding the head of small bold human creature. On the left side of the door there are five men in a row, half-naked, bare-footed, walking, or running, on a rough surface to the door. All of them, with the exception of the middle one, are bearded. The last one has trumpet in his mouth, producing a signal or just playing. The others are armed and are vigorously waving their swards. The dynamic impression in the left scene is in sharp contract with the tranquility in the right one: an old man speaks with an almost beardless youth. Both of them are leaning on roughly-hewn sticks, the young one wears sandals.
The amphora-rhyton is one of the most representative works of ancient art and if the hypothesis of its local origin may be proved, which becomes ever more convincing, the value of the Thracian art tradition will enjoy a greater respect.
The technique used for this replica of the amphora-rhyton is called “galvanoplastic”, which allows an exact replica to be made, but with a much lighter material. Our team of designers creates a precise carving on a silicone mold in which we pour wax. The wax takes the form of the object, which after that we cover with metal through galvanoplasty process, and finish it with gold cover.