The frieze depicts a mythological scene recalling 'the Triumph of Love'. According to Homer's Iliad concerning the history of Troy, the choice by the Trojan Prince, Paris, of Aphrodite rather than Pallas Athena, turned the latter against the Trojans. However, offended by the hero Ajax of Locri, she later joined Poseidon in the destruction of the Greek fleet.
The scene perhaps depicts Ajax dismounting and attempting to persuade Achilles, who is seated beside women on a dais outside city walls, to rejoin the battle; the event presided over by Athena, who is represented on a larger scale than the other figures, as befits a deity.
Elsewhere on the frieze, the image of the heroic club-wielding triton, an attendant of the water-deity Poseidon, evolved from one incorporated in Andrea Mantegna's late fifteenth century engraving The Battle of the Sea Gods'.
For two other goblets with similar bowl profiles and pincered denticulated collars see H. Tait, The Golden Age of Venetian Glass, London, 1979, pl. 2, no. 23 and A. Gasparetto, IL Vetro di Murano dalle Origini ad Oggi, Venice, 1958, pl. 30.