Lobed bowl with lion, foliage and a ring of raised dots

Historical period(s)
late 6th-early 7th century
Hammered silver with repoussé and chased decoration
H x Diam: 4.8 × 15.3 cm (1 7/8 × 6 in)
Probably Uzbekistan
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
On View Location
Freer Gallery 16: Center of the World: China and the Silk Road
Metalwork, Vessel


Central Asia, chasing, hammering, lion, punching, repousse, Uzbekistan, WWII-era provenance

From at least 1957
Carl Kempe (1884-1967), Ekolsund, Sweden, from at least 1957 [1]

From 1992
Eskenazi Ltd., London, purchased from the Kempe family [2]

To 1997
James Freeman, Kyoto, purchased from Eskenazi Ltd., London

From 1997
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from James Freeman in 1997


[1] See B. Gyllensvard, T'ang Gold and Silver, Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities 29, 2 (Stockholm: 1957), p. 63, fig. 70.

[2] Information provided by Philip Constantinidi, Eskenazi Ltd. in email correspondence, March 21, 2013.

Previous Owner(s)

James Freeman
Kempe Family
Carl Kempe 1884 - 1967


Made in Central Asia in the region of Samarkand, this decorated silver bowl is an excellent example of the school of metalwork fashioned in this cosmopolitan area on the Silk Route linking Europe and China. In the seventh and eighth century, this region—known as Sogdia—produced luxury metalwork that drew on artistic styles of Sasanian Iran, to the west, and Tang China, to the east.

Published References
  • Boris I. Marshak. Silberschatze des Orients: Metallkunst des 3-13 Jahrhunderts und ihre Kontinuitat. Leipzig. fig. 69.
  • James C.Y. Watt. China: Dawn of a Golden Age, 200-750 AD. Exh. cat. New York and New Haven. fig. 44.
  • Boris I. Marshak. Sogdiiskoe serebro: Ocherki po vostochnoi torevtike. Kul'tura Narodov Vostoka Moscow. pl. 31.
  • Bo Gyllensvard The Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities. T'ang Gold and Silver. no. 29 Stockholm. fig. 70.
  • James T. Ulak. A Decade of Remarkable Growth: Acquisitions by the Freer and Sackler Galleries. vol. 166 no. 548 London, 2007. p. 42.
  • Lin Meicun. Guyuan Sute mu suo chu zhonggu Posiwen yinzhang ji qi xiangguan wenti (The seal with an ancient Persian inscription from a Sogdian grave at Guyuan and related questions). no. 1 Xi'an Shi. cat. 1, pp. 50-54.
  • Boris I. Marshak. A Sogdian Silver Bowl in the Freer Galery of Art. No. 29, 1999. pp. 101-110.
  • Thomas Lawton Thomas W. Lentz. Beyond the Legacy: Anniversary Acquisitions for the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. vol. 1 Washington, 1998. pp. 128-129.
  • Amy Heller. The Silver Jug of the Lhasa Jokhang: Some Observations on Silver Objects and Costumes from the Tibetan Empire (7th-9th Century). p. 215.
Collection Area(s)
Ancient Near Eastern Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum