Freer Gallery of Art Arthur M Sackler Gallery Gallery Guide Arts of the Islamic World

Iran of Afghanistan
Sasanian period, 600–650
Silver and gilt
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler, S1987.105
This bowl, made in Iran or Central Asia during the Sasanian period (224–651) depicts scenes from the life of the nobility. A man and woman grasp a wreath, a ritual that seems to signify the ceremonial observation of a marriage contract. The other scenes probably depict events that accompanied the celebration: a servant approaching the couple, a wrestling match, two people playing a board game, and musicians playing harp and drum. The couple and the servant are depicted with a variety of sumptuous vessels, including bowls on tall bases, ewers, and an animal-shaped drinking vessel.

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