The sword itself is inlaid with garnets and glass, and a pattern of overlapping feathers decorates the surface. That a similar pattern can be seen on the helmet of a Sasanian warrior has led scholars to suggest it may be symbolic of the Zoroastrian god of victory, Verethragna. Several other swords of this type are known, some mounted in gold, some in silver. Stylistically and technically, they are all very similar, although the present example is by far the most elaborate of the group.
“Treasured Masterpieces of the Metropolitan Museum of Art,” Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo, Japan, The Kyoto Municipal Museum, Kyoto, Japan, 1972.
“Gold,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, April 14–September 9, 1973.
“Patterns of Collecting: Selected Acquisitions 1965-1975,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, December 6, 1975–March 23, 1976.
“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.