Historical period(s)
Sasanian period, 6th-7th century
Medium
Silver and gilt; hammered, repousse, chased, gilded
Dimensions
H x Diam: 19.4 × 11.2 cm (7 5/8 × 4 7/16 in)
Geography
Iran
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
F1966.1
On View Location
Freer Gallery 21a: Feast Your Eyes: A Taste for Luxury in Ancient Iran
Classification(s)
Metalwork, Vessel
Type

Vessel

Keywords
chasing, child, dance, gilding, hammering, Iran, music, repousse, Sasanian period (ca. 224 - 651), woman, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

To 1966
Marguerite Mallon, Rome, Italy. [1]

From 1966
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Marguerite Mallon, Rome, Italy. [2]

Notes:

[1] See correspondences between Marguerite Mallon and the Director of the Freer Gallery of Art, John Pope, copies in the object file. See also Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List after 1920 file, Collections Management Office.

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s)

Marguerite Mallon

Label

This vase is one of a group of Sasanian silver and gilt vessels decorated with figures of dancing females, who often hold or play musical instruments (see S1987.117 and S1987.118). Some of the figures are given halos and hairstyles with topknots, which distinguish them as royal or divine. An inscription on the rim of this vase records the weight of the vessel and the name of its owner; this information was probably used in ancient times to register the vessel for taxation purposes. Closely related examples are today in the Louvre, Paris and in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Published References
  • Massoume Price. Ancient Iran. Culture of Iran Youth Series, 1st Edition. .
  • Jean-Louis Huot. Persia: From the Origins to the Achaemenids. Cleveland. fig. 140.
  • Richard N. Frye. Sasanian Numbers and Silver Weights. cat. 12.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Exhibition of 2500 Years of Persian Art. Exh. cat. Washington, 1971. cat. 40.
  • Richard Ettinghausen. From Byzantium to Sasanian Iran and the Islamic World: Three Modes of Artistic Influence. The L.A. Mayor Memorial Studies in Islamic Art and Archaeology Leiden. pp. 4-10, pl. 3, fig. 8.
  • Art Gallery of New South Wales. Silk Road Saga: The Sarcophagus of Yu Hong. p. 17.
  • Philippe Gignoux. Elements de prosopographic II: Les possesseurs de coupes sasanides. vol. 13, no. 1 Paris. cat. 20, pp. 30-31.
  • Richard Ettinghausen. A Persian Treasure. no. 8, Fall-Winter 1967-1968. pp. 31-34.
  • Christopher J. Brunner. Middle Persian Inscriptions on Sasanian Silverware. vol. 9. p. 114, fig. 6.
  • 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.
  • Mountains and Lowlands: Essays in the Archaeology of Greater Mesopotamia. Bibliotheca Mesopotamica, no. 7 Malibu, CA. cat. 105, p. 179.
  • 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. 34, pp. 224-26.
  • Richard Ettinghausen. Islamic Art and Archaeology: Collected Papers. Berlin. p. 303.
  • Roman Ghirshman. Rich Treasures of Persian Animal Art Recently Discovered, Gold, Silver, and Bronze: Master Works of Ancient Iranian Artists. 236, no. 6296, April 2, 1960. p. 550.
  • Daniel T. Potts Kate Masia-Redford. Oxford Handbook of Ancient Iran. Oxford handbooks Oxford, New York. p. 931, fig. 48.3.
Collection Area(s)
Ancient Near Eastern Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum