An extremely rare bronze, bird-like askos forms part of Vassil Bojkov’s unique collection of artefacts. It is thought to have been influenced by Thracian, Anatolian, Greek, and other cultures. The entire object is covered by dark, olive green patina with several reddish-brown spots. The exact origin of the askos is unfortunately unknown.
Despite the fact that the exact origin of Vasil Bojkov’s bird-askos cannot be pinpointed, there are some elements that are really crucial for the dating and the localization of this particular vase. Precisely, its mouth, handle, and attachment. The handle of the askos has three distinct components that create a near-circular section. They are positioned one next to another and form a band. It is discovered and observed that handles of this type appear on many Ibero-Phoenician oinochoae made of bronze and silver.
Some scholars have dated them as far back as the second quarter of the 8th century BC. Another resemblance between these artefacts and the Bojkov vase is the Phoenician palmette element we see on the photo. Palmette decorations of this sort can be also seen on Phoenician miniature ivory oinochoae and on their Samian imitations. Such similarities leave no doubts about the common origins of the bird-askos in the Vassil Bojkov Collection and the rest of the objects mentioned above.
As well, the common features that hint towards the East-Phoenicial origin of the bird-like askos do not end here. Aside from the engraved palmette, there is the one-piece casting technique used, in addition to the rim profile of the artefact. In his book Metal Vases & Utensils in the Vassil Bojkov Collection, vol. Athanasios Siderislooks at this particular piece in greater detail and points out that “It was probably one of those vases that inspired later, in the 6th century BC, the production of siren-askoi in Laconia and Etruria.”
The bird-like askos dates back to the 630-600 BC.