Spouted vessel with lynx protome


Historical period(s)
Parthian period, 1st century BCE-1st century CE
Silver and gilt
H x W x D: 23.5 x 12.4 x 30.4 cm (9 1/4 x 4 7/8 x 11 15/16 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

Spouted vessel

casting, cat, chasing, gilding, hammering, Iran, Parthian period (247 BCE - 224 CE), punching, WWII-era provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Previous Owner(s)

Dr. Arthur M. Sackler 1913-1987


Drinking vessels with a tall horn joined to the protome (forepart) of a lynx, panther, or lion, are sometimes depicted in Hellenistic and Roman art. They are usually identified as objects used in celebrating the cult of Dionysos, the Greek god of wine and ecstatic experience, which spread over a wide area of the eastern Mediterranean and southwest Asia.

Published References
  • Ann C. Gunter Paul Jett. Ancient Iranian Metalwork in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington and Mainz, Germany, 1992. cat. 11, pp. 34, 98-100.
  • et al. Asian Art in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery: The Inaugural Gift. Washington, 1987. cat. 17, p. 44.
  • Ann C. Gunter. The Art of Eating and Drinking in Ancient Iran. vol. 1, no. 2 New York. p. 41, fig. 24.
  • Ann C. Gunter. Ancient Iranian Drinking Vessles. vol. 18, no. 9 Hong Kong, September 1987. p. 42, fig. 8.
  • Michael Vickers. Metrological Reflections: Attic, Hellenistic, Parthian and Sasanian Gold and Silver Plate. vol. 24, no. 2 Paris. p. 180.
  • Weihrauch und Seide: alte Kulturen an der Seidenstrasse. Vienna. .
  • Ideals of Beauty: Asian and American Art in the Freer and Sackler Galleries. Thames and Hudson World of Art London and Washington, 2010. p. 44.
  • "Orecious Metalwork and Gems of the Pre-Islamic Era." Arts of the Hellenized East. .
Collection Area(s)
Ancient Near Eastern Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum