Historical period(s)
Sasanian period, 7th century
Silver and gilt; hammered, chased, gilded
H x W: 37 x 42.7 cm (14 9/16 x 16 13/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Sackler Gallery 21: Feast Your Eyes: A Taste for Luxury in Ancient Iran


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

This large disk must have been secured to another material, such as leather or wood, by means of the circular perforations around its rim. Did it decorate a piece of furniture, for example? We do not know. Traces of gilding are preserved on the background and around the figures, indicating that the raised decoration was originally gilded. 

The decoration on the disk at least provides some clues to the date of manufacture. The composition of the decoration---inhabited vines with intertwined branches, flanked by rampant animals---is common in late Sasanian decorative arts. The patterned mountains from which the vines grow appear on a number of Sasanian silver vessels. Architectural stucco patterns of the fifth to seventh centuries preserve similar decorative patterns. The form and style of decoration thus suggest a date late in the Sasanian period, probably the seventh century.

Published References
  • 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. 40, pp. 214-16.
Collection Area(s)
Ancient Near Eastern Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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