Stone-sculpted and terracotta-modelled glyphic figurines or plaques, depicting an intimate couple reclining on a couch, were widely known as an Etruscan creative innovation under the oriental impacts of the early Iron Age period. However, as with most of the early Classical Etruscan and Greek art genres that were inspired from ancient Near Eastern prototypes, motifs of a reclining couple might also have derived from the early Mesopotamian banqueting scenes shown on cylinder seals. This hybrid example, not only presents an adherence to an Etruscan stereotyped arrangement with the figures’ positions and poses, but also embraces a typical Mesopotamian enigma, suggested by the bronze libation phiale held in the male figure’s hand.
Within the genre of terracotta plaques depicting reclining couples, occasional examples dressed in typical Parthian attire have survived. Among those, examples are either presented as male or female figures in solo. Thus, presenting a Parthian-dressed couple, further contributes to this piece’s uniqueness and rarity.