Historical period(s)
Sasanian period, Reign of Shapur II, 4th century
Medium
Silver and gilt
Dimensions
H x Diam: 5 x 24 cm (1 15/16 x 9 7/16 in)
Geography
Iran
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
F1934.23
On View Location
Sackler Gallery 21: Feast Your Eyes: A Taste for Luxury in Ancient Iran
Classification(s)
Metalwork, Vessel
Type

Plate

Keywords
boar, chasing, gilding, hammering, horse, hunting, Iran, portrait, repousse, Sasanian period (ca. 224 - 651), WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Previous Owner(s)

Stroganov
Hagop Kevorkian 1872 - 1962

Label

One of the earliest and most enduring of the royal images created during the Sasanian period (ca. 224-651) shows the king on horseback hunting select quarry: boar, lion, antelope (or gazelle). This image, often embellished with gilding, was depicted on the interior of silver plates, about thirty of which have been found in Iran and neighboring countries. Produced in imperial workshops, these plates were given as official gifts from the king to high-ranking individuals within or beyond the empire's frontiers. In the early centuries of Sasanian rule, silver production was controlled by a royal monopoly and could be minted into coins or fashioned into objects only on the king's authority.

Although the royal figures on the plates are not labeled, they can sometimes be identified by their crowns, which are sometimes also shown on coin portraits of individual Sasanian kings. The figure on this plate is generally identified as Shapur II (reigned 309-79).

Published References
  • Donald F. Gibbons. Techniques of Silversmithing in the Hormizd II plate. vol. 11. fig. 10.
  • Ludolf Stephani. Compte-rendu de la Commission Imperiale archeologique pour l'annees 1878-1879. 22 vols., St. Petersburg. pl. 7, fig. 2.
  • Smithsonian Institution. Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, 1935. Washington, 1935-1936. appendix 3, pl. 1.
  • Laurence Sickman Alexander Coburn Soper. The Art and Architecture of China. The Pelican History of Art London and Baltimore. pl. 7.
  • Richard Ettinghausen Ernst Kuhnel. A Survey of Persian Art from Prehistoric Times to the Present. 6 vols., London and New York, 1938 - 1939. see remarks, pl. 211.
  • Alecandru I. Odobescu. Le Tresor de Petrossa: Historique - description: Etude sur l'orfevrerie antique 2. 2 vols., Paris. fig. 71e.
  • and Publisher New Orient Society of America. Oriental Art in America: Recent Accessions in American Museums. Chicago. pl. 1.
  • Massoume Price. Ancient Iran. Culture of Iran Youth Series, 1st Edition. .
  • N. Kondakof I. Tolstoi. Antiquities de la Russie Meridionale. Paris. fig. 379.
  • Harald Ingholt Islay Lyons. Gandharan Art in Pakistan. New York. pl. XXIII 2.
  • Richard N. Frye. The Heritage of Persia. London. fig. 95.
  • Kurt Erdmann. Die kunst Iran zur zeit der Sasaniden. Berlin. pl. 60.
  • The Cambridge History of Iran. 7 vols., Cambridge, England, 1968-1991. pl. 17.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Exhibition of 2500 Years of Persian Art. Exh. cat. Washington, 1971. cat. 51.
  • Washington's Treasure House of Middle Eastern Art. vol. 1, no. 1 Washington, January 1956. p. 4.
  • Ludolf Stephani Grigori Stroganoff. Die Schlangen-Futterung der Orphischen Mysterien. St. Petersburg. cat. 9, p. 5.
  • I. I. Smirnov. Vostochnoe serebro (Oriental Silver). St. Petersburg. pp. 6, 14, pl. 29, fig. 57.
  • Edwin M. Wright. The Horse in Middle Eastern Symbolism. vol. 6, no. 8, September - October 1966. p. 10.
  • Fukai Shinji. A Study of a Silver Plate with the Design of Royal Hunting Excavated in the Dailaman District of Iran. no. 892 Tokyo, July 1966. p. 16.
  • Dr. Harriet Crawford. The Powers of the Past. no. 10. p. 19, fig. 4.
  • Ann C. Gunter Paul Jett. Ancient Iranian Metalwork in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington and Mainz, Germany, 1992. cat. 13, pp. 36.
  • W. Aubrey Cartwright. Guide to Art Museums in the United States: East Coast, Washington to Miami., 1st ed. New York. p.43.
  • Ernst Herzfeld. Die Malereien von Samarra. Ausgrabungen von Samarra, Bd. 3 Berlin. p. 45.
  • Ideals of Beauty: Asian and American Art in the Freer and Sackler Galleries. Thames and Hudson World of Art London and Washington, 2010. p. 49.
  • Prudence Oliver Harper. Silver Vessels of the Sasanian Period. New York. pp.61-3,127,171.
  • Ludwig Bachhofer. Sasanidische Jagschalen. vol. XI Munich, January/June 1933. p. 64, abb. 2.
  • Ernst Herzfeld. Am tor von Asien: Felsdenkmale aus Irans heldenzeit. Berlin. p. 70.
  • The Arts of Persia. New Haven and London. p. 70, pl. 16.
  • Ars Orientalis: The Arts of Islam and The East. vol. 7 Washington and Ann Arbor. pp. 75-93, figs. 1-20.
  • Dorothy Shepherd Payer. Sasanian Art in Cleveland. vol. 51, no. 4 Cleveland, April 1964. pp. 76-77, 79, fig. 15b.
  • W. Thomas Chase. The Technical Examination of Two Sasanian Silver Plates. vol. 7 Washington and Ann Arbor. , pp. 78-85, figs. 1-20.
  • , Robert H Dyson, Jr., Charles K. Wilkinson, Prudence Oliver Harper. Highlights of Persian Art. Persian Art Series, no. 1 Boulder, CO. p. 101.
  • Otto Maenchen-Helfen. Crenelated Mane and Scabbard Slide. vol. 3, no. 2, , journal reprint. The Hague and Wiesbaden. p. 107, fig. 22.
  • Richard Ettinghausen. Six Thousand Years of Persian Art: The Exhibition of Iranian Art, New York, 1940. vol. 7, no. 1 Ann Arbor. pp. 113-114.
  • Ernst Herzfeld. Khusrau Parwez und der Taq-i-Vastan. vol. 9, no. 2 Berlin, June 1938. p. 129ff.
  • Richard Ettinghausen. The Arts of Iran at the Time of Avicenna: Société iranienne pour la conservation des monuments nationaux. vol. 4, Tehran. pp. 132-138, fig. 1.
  • Jahan Reinhold Aspelin. Antiquites du Nord Finno-Ougrien. 5 vols., Helsingfors. p. 142, fig. 61o.
  • Ecclesiastical Silver Plate in Sixth-Century Byzantium Vessels: Papers of the Symposium held May 16-18, 1986 at the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore and Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C. Washington. pp. 147-153.
  • Mark Norell Denise Patry Leidy. Traveling the Silk Road. p. 170 bottom.
  • Fukai Shinji. Perusha kobijutsu kenkyu: garasuki kinki. Tokyo. p. 181, fig. 122.
  • Kurt Erdmann. Die sasanidischen Jagdschalen: Untersuchung zur Entwicklungsgeschichte der iranischen Edelmetallkunst unter den Sasaniden. vol. 57 Berlin. p. 202.
  • Edwards Park. Treasures from the Smithsonian Institution., 1st ed. Washington and New York. pp. 346-47.
  • Jahan Reinhold Aspelin. De la civilization prehistorique des peuples permiens et de leur commerce avec L'Orient: Notice archeologique
    Notice arche´ologique.
    Notice archeologique
    . Leiden. p. 408, no. 14c.
  • Carlton J. H. Hayes James H. Hanscom. Ancient Civilizations: Prehistory to the Fall of Rome. Mainstreams of Civilization, 1 New York. p. 463.
  • Prudence Oliver Harper Georgina Herrmann. Archaeologia Iranica et Orientalis: Miscellanea in Honorem Louis Vanden Berghe. 2 vols., Ghent. pp. 761, 805, pl. 16.
  • Richard Ettinghausen. Islamic Art and Archaeology: Collected Papers. Berlin. p. 899.
  • Daniel T. Potts Kate Masia-Redford. Oxford Handbook of Ancient Iran. Oxford handbooks Oxford, New York. pp. 920-942.
Collection Area(s)
Ancient Near Eastern Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum