The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harris Dick Fund, 1954

A Persian goldsmith fashioned this shimmering gold bowl for King Darius I or II. Made sometime between 522 and 404 B.C., it stands 4.5 inches high and is 7.75 inches in diameter. The abundant examples of gold tableware—cups, goblets, plates and bowls—many of them discovered in archaeological excavations, confirm the likelihood that King Solomon did indeed possess the gold claimed in 1 Kings for Solomon’s Temple and palaces. “Solomon also made all the furnishings that were in the Lord’s Temple: the altar … the lampstands of pure gold … pure gold dishes, wick trimmers, sprinkling bowls, ladles and censers” (1 Kings 7:48–50).