Hemispherical bowl


Historical period(s)
Sasanian period or later, 7th-8th century
Silver and gilt
H x W x D: 5.7 x 14.3 x 14.3 cm (2 1/4 x 5 5/8 x 5 5/8 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Accession Number
On View Location
Freer Gallery 21a: Feast Your Eyes: A Taste for Luxury in Ancient Iran
Metalwork, Vessel


backgammon, carving, chasing, flower, gilding, hammering, Iran, man, music, playing, Sasanian period (ca. 224 - 651), woman, WWII-era provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Previous Owner(s)

Dr. Arthur M. Sackler 1913-1987


The exterior of this bowl, made in Iran or Central Asia toward the end of the Sasanian period (ca. 224–651) or in the following century, depicts scenes from the life of the nobility. In the center is a male figure holding a flower; arranged around this central medallion are a related group of scenes of human figures. In one scene, a man and woman grasp a wreath, a ritual that seems to signify the ceremonial observation of a marriage contract. The other scenes probably depict events that accompanied the celebration: a servant approaching the couple; a wrestling match; two people playing a board game; and musicians playing harp and drum. The couple and the servant are depicted with a variety of sumptuous vessels similar to actual examples made of silver and gilt that have been recovered from burials and hoards: bowls on tall bases, ewers, and an animal-shaped drinking vessel.

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

Copyright with museum