Smithsonian Freer Gallery Sackler Gallery National Museum of Asian Art Gallery Guide to the Royal Riches
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Most of the precious metal at Persepolis was probably in the form of vessels, which could serve as royal tableware, be stored in the treasury, or be given away as gifts. Rulers not only accumulated gold and silver, but also fostered high crafting standards in palace workshops and promoted new styles as well as new techniques of making and decorating metalwork. Occasionally, they even monopolized sources of precious metals. A later Persian dynasty, the Sasanians (ca. 224–651), controlled the supply of silver, which court artisans fashioned into works of art often embellished with royal images. A silver plate depicting the Sasanian king Shapur II (ruled 309–379) hunting boars was probably a royal gift, announcing the ruler's heroic strength as well as his vast stores of silver.
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Iran, Sasanian period, ca. 300–400 C.E.
Silver and gilt;  dia. 24.0 cm  (9 1/2 in.)
Purchase    F1934.23

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