Historical period(s)
Sasanian period, 6th-7th century
Vase; silver and gilt
H x Diam: 17.6 × 10 cm (6 15/16 × 3 15/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Freer Gallery 21a: Feast Your Eyes: A Taste for Luxury in Ancient Iran
Metalwork, Vessel


chasing, gilding, hammering, Iran, Sasanian period (ca. 224 - 651), WWII-era provenance

To 1964
K. Rabenou, New York, New York. [1]

From 1964
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from K. Rabenou, New York, New York. [2]


[1] Object folder, undated folder sheet note 1. Also see Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List after 1920 file, Collections Management Office.

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s)

K. Rabenou


Vessels of this shape, used to contain wine, were most often decorated with elaborate figural scenes (see F1965.20 and F1966.1). By contrast, this example is decorated with a gilded, trilobed pattern that also appears on other silver-gilt vessels of the Sasanian period (ca. 224–651). In both styles of decoration, however, the gilding is applied to the background. This is one of a set of four vessels, the other three being today in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and in the Miho Museum, Japan.

Published References
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Exhibition of 2500 Years of Persian Art. Exh. cat. Washington, 1971. cat. 47.
  • 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. 147-53.
  • Michael Vickers. Metrological Reflections: Attic, Hellenistic, Parthian and Sasanian Gold and Silver Plate. vol. 24, no. 2 Paris. pp. 163-85.
  • 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. 32, pp. 185-87.
Collection Area(s)
Ancient Near Eastern Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage conditions apply

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