Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Stamp seal: standing noble holding a flower

Period:
Sasanian
Date:
ca. 3rd–early 4th century A.D.
Geography:
Iran
Culture:
Sasanian
Medium:
Sardonyx
Dimensions:
H. 3.3 cm, W. 2.3 cm
Classification:
Stone-Stamp Seals
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1922
Accession Number:
22.139.41
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 402
This oval seal stone is finely carved with the full-length image of a male figure of high rank; whether a prince or a nobleman is not clear, however, since it lacks an inscription. Singular full-length figures are rare on Sasanian seals. This one turns to look at a plant or blossom, simply drawn, held up in his right hand. He holds the hilt of his sword with the other hand. Two dots on the chest may indicate clasps for a cloak, though none is shown. His stance and dress are like those seen on male figures in early Sasanian rock reliefs. Sasanian seals are often made of semiprecious stones and royal ones are large in scale.
Acquired by the Museum in 1922, purchased through John Marshall from Edward P. Warren, Lewes House, Sussex.

“The Royal Hunter: Art of the Sasanian Empire,” Asia House Gallery, New York, The Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1978.

von der Osten, H.H. 1931. “Ancient Seals from the Near East in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.” Art Bulletin 13, pp. 233, 240, fig. 123.

Crawford, Vaughn E., Prudence Oliver Harper, Oscar White Muscarella, and Beatrice Bodenstein. 1966. Ancient Near Eastern Art: Guide to the Collections. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 37. fig. 58.

Brunner, Christopher J. 1978. Sasanian Stamp Seals in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 25, p. 23.

Harper, Prudence O. 1978. The Royal Hunter: Art of the Sasanian Empire. New York: The Asia Society, p. 143, no. 67.

Brunner, Christopher J. 1979. “Sasanian Stamp Seals in the Moore Collection: Motive and Meaning in Some Popular Subjects.” Metropolitan Museum Journal 14, p. 44, fig. 13.
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