Historical period(s)
Sasanian period, 7th century
Medium
Silver and gilt
Dimensions
H x W x D: 4.9 x 19 x 19 cm (1 15/16 x 7 1/2 x 7 1/2 in)
Geography
Iran
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Accession Number
S1987.113
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Metalwork, Vessel
Type

Plate

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

Dr. Arthur M. Sackler 1913-1987

Label

The decoration on this plate, a couple seated on a couch and grasping a wreath or diadem, is also found on Sasanian seal stones. The male figure wears a mural crown, indicating that this is a scene of a royal or princely banquet. Late in the Sasanian period (ca. 224-651), silver plates with interior decoration were fashioned for a noble clientele. Most depict subjects with religious meaning; this plate is therefore unusual in the repertory of late Sasanian silver plate.

Below the couch is the head of a ram in profile, facing right. In Zoroastrian writing the ram, or mouflon, is associated with the Iranian god Verethragna and with royal glory or fortune (xvarnah). The animal appears frequently in Sasanian art–on silver vessels, as a stucco pattern, on textiles, and on seal stones. Depicted as an isolated head, this animal image can be found on other examples of Sasanian and Central Asian silver. If intended to symbolize Verethragna and thus also valor, the animal head would then emphasize the heroic aspect of the royal banquet.

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

Copyright with museum