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profile: Vase


Historical period(s)
Sasanian period, 6th-7th century
Silver and gilt; hammered, repousse, chased, gilded
H x Diam: 19.4 × 11.2 cm (7 5/8 × 4 7/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
This vase is one of a group of Sasanian silver and gilt vessels decorated with figures of dancing females, who often hold or play musical instruments (see S1987.117 and S1987.118). Some of the figures are given halos and hairstyles with topknots, which distinguish them as royal or divine. An inscription on the rim of this vase records the weight of the vessel and the name of its owner; this information was probably used in ancient times to register the vessel for taxation purposes. Closely related examples are today in the Louvre, Paris and in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

To 1966
Marguerite Mallon, Rome, Italy. [1]

From 1966
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Marguerite Mallon, Rome, Italy. [2]


[1] See correspondences between Marguerite Mallon and the Director of the Freer Gallery of Art, John Pope, copies in the object file. See also Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List after 1920 file, Collections Management Office.

[2] See note 1.

Former owner
Marguerite Mallon
On View Location
Currently not on view
Metalwork, Vessel
chasing, child, dance, gilding, hammering, Iran, music, repousse, Sasanian period (ca. 224 - 651), woman
Collection(s) Area
Ancient Near Eastern Art
Web Resource(s)
Google Cultural Institute

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum

We are excited to reopen the Freer on October 7, 2017, following a renovation to allow us to better present our art and serve our visitors.
The Sackler remains open, with a full lineup of exhibitions and events both in the museum and around DC.