Historical period(s)
Sasanian period, Reign of Shapur II, 4th century
Silver and gilt
H x Diam: 5 x 24 cm (1 15/16 x 9 7/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
On View Location
Sackler Gallery 21: Feast Your Eyes: A Taste for Luxury in Ancient Iran
Metalwork, Vessel


boar, chasing, gilding, hammering, horse, hunting, Iran, portrait, repousse, Sasanian period (ca. 224 - 651), WWII-era provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Previous Owner(s)

Hagop Kevorkian 1872 - 1962


One of the earliest and most enduring of the royal images created during the Sasanian period (ca. 224-651) shows the king on horseback hunting select quarry: boar, lion, antelope (or gazelle). This image, often embellished with gilding, was depicted on the interior of silver plates, about thirty of which have been found in Iran and neighboring countries. Produced in imperial workshops, these plates were given as official gifts from the king to high-ranking individuals within or beyond the empire's frontiers. In the early centuries of Sasanian rule, silver production was controlled by a royal monopoly and could be minted into coins or fashioned into objects only on the king's authority.

Although the royal figures on the plates are not labeled, they can sometimes be identified by their crowns, which are sometimes also shown on coin portraits of individual Sasanian kings. The figure on this plate is generally identified as Shapur II (reigned 309-79).

Published References
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Collection Area(s)
Ancient Near Eastern Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum