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Plate

Type
Plate
Historical period(s)
Sasanian period, Reign of Shapur II, 4th century
Medium
Silver and gilt
Dimension(s)
H x Diam: 5 x 24 cm (1 15/16 x 9 7/16 in)
Geography
Iran
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1934.23
Label
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).

Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
On View Location
Sackler: Feast Your Eyes: A Taste for Luxury in Ancient Iran
Classification(s)
Metalwork, Vessel
Keyword(s)
boar, chasing, gilding, hammering, horse, hunting, Iran, portrait, repousse, Sasanian period (ca. 224 - 651)
Collection(s) Area
Ancient Near Eastern Art
Web Resource(s)
Google Cultural Institute

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum






The Freer is closed for renovation and reopening in 2017. The Sackler remains open, with a full lineup of exhibitions and events both in the museum and around DC.