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Vase
6th-7th century


Sasanian period

Silver and gilt; hammered, repousse, chased, gilded
Iran

Purchase F1965.20

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A large group of Sasanian silver and gilt vases of similar shape illustrates themes and motifs connected with the cult of Dionysos, the ancient Greek god of wine and ecstatic experience. Of this group, however, only this particular example depicts the god himself. Appropriately, this imagery is found on vessels such as this one, which was used to contain wine. Elaborately decorated silver and gilt examples of this shape were made toward the end of the Sasanian period, the sixth and seventh centuries, as luxury banqueting equipment.