View right to left
interior: Plate base: Plate


Historical period(s)
Sasanian period, 5th-7th century
Silver and gilt
H x Diam (overall): 4.5 × 22.1 cm (1 3/4 × 8 11/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
This complex scene, which decorates the interior of a shallow plate, testifies to the lively cultural interaction that took place between the eastern Mediterranean and Central Asia in the first millennium. In the center, the Greek god Dionysos (depicted here with female-like breasts) sits nexts to the princess Ariadne; to the right stands the hero Herakles. The plate depicts the triumphal arrival of the Greek god Dionysos in India. A popular subject of Roman imperial art, it was later depicted over a wide area of the Byzantine Empire in textiles, gemstones, and metalwork, and transferred through such portable media to neighboring Sasanian Iran.

To 1964
Mahboubian Gallery of Ancient Art, Tehran, Iran and New York. [1]

From 1964
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Mahboubian Gallery of Ancient Art, Tehran, Iran and New York. [2]


[1] Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List file after 1920, Collections Management Office.

[2] See note 1.

Former owner
Mahboubian Gallery of Ancient Art
On View Location
Currently not on view
Metalwork, Vessel
carving, chasing, engraving, gilding, hammering, Iran, Sasanian period (ca. 224 - 651), WWII-era provenance
Collection(s) Area
Ancient Near Eastern Art
Web Resource(s)
Google Cultural Institute

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum

The Freer|Sackler is closed for renovation and reinstallation. The popular exhibition Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan is still on view in the International Gallery. (Enter through the Ripley Center.) Join us for our reopening celebration on October 14–15, 2017.