The phiale from the original Panagyurishte Thracian Gold treasure is the largest and heaviest known so far vessel from the ancient world. Its decoration is no less unique. Around its smooth omphalos, protruding upward, there are arranged four concentric circles, each of them consisting of 24 ornamental elements made in such a way as to be seen from without. The closest to the center is the circle of acorns, the other three are of Negroes’ heads, increasing in size in the next circle. The patterns hammered from without render “negative” images from within. All free surfaces are decorated with floral ornaments: blossoms of lotus and palmettes.
The phiale was used for drinking of wine. The action was mystified by both physical and psychological properties of gold. Once poured inside, the liquid immediately turns ice-cold due to the highest conductivity quality of gold. Thracians adored red wine. While used for drinking, the phiale bent to the face of the drinker and he could see how the closest to him Negroes’ heads take the liquid and turn dark red, while those at the back gradually change their color from red to yellow. In the remotest from his face Negroes’ heads, the wine stayed only in the openings for the eyes and mouths, thus making them blink light red against the yellow glitter of the noble metal. The impact on the drinker must have been sensational, making him feel as if he devoured a magical drink worth for Gods.
The technique used for this replica 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.