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Plate

Type
Plate
Historical period(s)
Sasanian period, 7th century
Medium
Silver and gilt
Dimension(s)
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
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1987.113
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.

Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Metalwork, Vessel
Keyword(s)
chasing, feasting, 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






As renovation work continues in the Freer Gallery, the Sackler Gallery also will close on July 10, 2017. This museum-wide closure will allow us to completely reinstall our exhibitions and revitalize features to improve your visit. Both spaces will reopen on October 14, 2017, when we will welcome the public back to the Freer|Sackler: two galleries, one destination. For your safety, all visitors will have their bags checked. See the complete list of restricted items and bag sizes.