Breastplate fragment

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 1

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At A Glance

On View
  • Period

    ca. 800-500 BCE
  • Geography

    Northwestern Iran
  • Material

  • Dimension

    H x W x D: 9.3 x 18.1 x 0.5 cm (3 11/16 x 7 1/8 x 3/16 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    This fragment is the lowest part of a trapezoidal breastplate made of sheet gold, decorated with parallel registers of figures in repoussé technique. In the upper register are two antithetical pairs of creatures, human-headed winged bulls and crested griffins, flanking a "sacred tree." In the lower register, a "sacred tree" with palmette top is flanked by a pair of horned griffins and a pair of winged bird-men carrying buckets and holding pine cones.
  • Provenance

    From at least 1957 to 1966
    Joseph H. Hirshhorn (1899-1981). [1]
    From 1966 to 1986
    Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn. [2]
    From 1986
    Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, transferred from Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC [3]
    [1] The object was published in the Royal Ontario Museum’s publication in 1957, which states that it belonged to Mr. Joseph H. Hirshhorn’s collection at the time. See Needler, Winifred (1957). Four Near Eastern Antiquities Lent by Mr. Joseph H. Hirshhorn. Royal Ontario Museum Bulletin of the Division of Art and Archaeology, 9-10, pl. 3A. See also Curatorial Remark 4 in the object record.
    [2] See document from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, object file, Collections Management Office.
    [3] See note 2. See also object file, Collections Management Office.
  • Collection

    National Museum of Asian Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Feast Your Eyes: A Taste for Luxury in Ancient Iran (February 4, 2012 - ongoing)
    Gold: The Asian Touch (September 10, 2005 to February 20, 2006)
    Metalwork and Ceramics from Ancient Iran (November 19, 1992 to January 22, 2004)
    Nomads and Nobility: Art from the Ancient Near East (September 28, 1987 to November 1, 1992)
    7,000 ans d'art en Iran (October 1961 to January 1962)
    Untitled Exhibition, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, 1957 (1957)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Joseph H. Hirshhorn (1899-1981)
    Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
  • Origin

    Northwestern Iran
  • Credit Line

    Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn to the Smithsonian Institution
  • Type

    Weapon and Armament
  • On View

    Sackler Gallery 21: Feast Your Eyes: A Taste for Luxury in Ancient Iran
  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

    There are restrictions for re-using this media. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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