Historical period(s)
11th-12th century
H x W x D: 5.1 × 4.3 × 0.8 cm (2 × 1 11/16 × 5/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


attendant, chasing, falcon, falconry, hunting, Iran, ruler, WWII-era provenance
Provenance research underway.

An enthroned figure, holding a goblet and surrounded by attendants, appears on the obverse of this medallion. The reverse depicts a royal rider hunting with falcons. The two scenes represent the concepts of feasting (bazm) and fighting or hunting (razm), associated with the Persian ideals of kingship. Few examples of such imagery in gold have survived, since gold was often melted down for reuse.

Published References
  • Gatherings in Honor of Dorothy E. Minor. Baltimore. figs. 5-6.
  • Eleni Sakes. Ancient Jewelry Charms, Exquisite Freer Gallery Group. Washington, January 2, 1955. section B, p. 9.
  • Katharina Otto-Dorn. Turkisch-Islamisches Bildgut in den Figurenreliefs von Achthamar. Ankara. .
  • Richard N. Frye. The Heritage of Persia. London. fig. 87.
  • Harald Langberg. C.L. Davids Samling; Nogle Studier. 4 vols., Copenhagen, 1948-1970. vol. 4: p. 309.
  • Gerard Brett. The "Rider" Silk., offprinted from: The Relics of Saint Cuthbert, Durham Cathedral. Oxford. pl. 49, fig. 1.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Exhibition of 2500 Years of Persian Art. Exh. cat. Washington, 1971. cat. 55, p. 17.
  • Archaeological Orientalia in Memoriam Ernst Herzfeld. Locust Vally, New York. p. 20.
  • Arthur Upham Pope, Iranian Institute of America. Masterpieces of Persian Art. New York. p. 47.
  • 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. 5.
  • Art and architecture in Ladakh: cross-cultural transmissions in the Himalayas and Karakoram. Brill's Tibetan Studies Library, vol. 35 Leiden. p. 172, fig. 7.3.
  • D.S. Rice. Archaeologica Orientalia: In Memoriam Ernst Herzfeld. vol. 1 Washington and Ann Arbor, 1954. p. 216.
  • Dr. Esin Atil, W. Thomas Chase, Paul Jett. Islamic Metalwork in the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington, 1985. p. 267.
  • Exhibition of Persian Art. Exh. cat. New York. p. 315.
  • Richard Ettinghausen. Islamic Art and Archaeology: Collected Papers. Berlin. pp. 460-493, fig. 39a.
  • Arthur Upham Pope. New Discoveries in Iran Exemplify the Superb Art of Persian Goldsmiths over a Period of Seventeen Centuries. London, 31 May 1941. p. 718, figs. 4-5.
Collection Area(s)
Arts of the Islamic World
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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