Elliptical bowl

Historical period(s)
Sasanian period, 6th-7th century
Silver and gilt
H x W x D: 6.3 × 21.8 × 11.7 cm (2 1/2 × 8 9/16 × 4 5/8 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Metalwork, Vessel


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

Elliptical bowls of this form are a well-attested type of late Sasanian silver vessel, used for drinking wine. The organization of the decoration in diamond-shaped compartments is found on late Sasanian vessels of other shapes and on works in other media, including textiles.

Published References
  • Najmieh Batmanglij. From Persia to Napa: Wine at the Persian Table. Washington. p. 26.
  • Oleg Grabar. Sasanian Silver: Late Antique and Early Mediaeval Arts of Luxury from Iran. Tokyo. cat. 35, p. 120.
  • 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. 28, p 174-176.
  • P. Amlet. Antiquites Parthes et Sasanides. no. 4-5, 1967. pp. 273-282.
  • Prudence Oliver Harper. Boat-Shaped Bowls of the Sasanian Period. vol. 23. pp. 331-345.
Collection Area(s)
Ancient Near Eastern Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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