Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Pear-Shaped Vase

Object Name:
8th century
Attributed to Iran
Silver; gilded and worked (repoussée)
H. 7 3/16 in. (18.3 cm) Diam. (at widest part of body) 4 5/16 in. (11.0 cm) Wt. 501g
Credit Line:
Pfeiffer Fund, 1969
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 451
Silver vessels counted among the Sasanian Empire’s most highly desired luxury goods. Their production continued into the Islamic period, suggesting continuity of artistic traditions despite the more global cultural shifts taking place with the arrival of Islam in the region. Two strong Islamic traditions come together in this bottle: its shape and medium recall the Sasanian heritage of Iran, while its decoration in the beveled style is characteristic of Abbasid developments in Samarra, Iraq. The winged shapes around the gilded, bead-like focal points are also reminiscent of Sasanian works.
Marking: On base (typed): T114.
[ Mahboubian Gallery of Ancient Art, New York, until 1969; sold to MMA]
Mexico City. Colegio de San Ildefonso. "Arte islamico del Museo Metropolitano de Arte de Nueva York," September 30, 1994–January 8, 1995, no. 73.

Ettinghausen, Richard. "Islamic Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 33, no. 1 (Spring 1975). ill. p. 6 (b/w).

Swietochowski, Marie, and Marilyn Jenkins-Madina. Notable Acquisitions 1965–1975 (1975). p. 138, ill. (b/w).

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Daniel S. Walker, Arturo Ponce Guadián, Sussan Babaie, Stefano Carboni, Aimee Froom, Marie Lukens Swietochowski, Tomoko Masuya, Annie Christine Daskalakis-Matthews, Abdallah Kahil, and Rochelle Kessler. "Colegio de San Ildefonso, Septiembre de 1994-Enero de 1995." In Arte Islámico del Museo Metropolitano de Arte de Nueva York. Mexico City: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 1994. no. 73, pp. 190-191, ill. p. 191 (b/w).

Demange Francoise. Glass, Gilding, and Grand Design: Art of Sasanian Iran (224-642). New York: Asia Society, 2007. no. 12.

Demange, Francoise. "Art of Sasanian Iran (224-642)." In Glass, Gilding, & Grand Design. New York: Asia Society, 2007. no. 12, p. 45, ill.

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