Exhibitions/ Art Object

Plate with king hunting rams

Period:
Sasanian
Date:
ca. A.D. mid-5th–mid-6th century
Geography:
Iran, said to be from Qazvin
Culture:
Sasanian
Medium:
Silver, mercury gilding, niello inlay
Dimensions:
H. 1 7/8 in. (4.6 cm), Diam. 8 5/8 in. (21.9 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Vessels
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1934
Accession Number:
34.33
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 405
The king as hunter had become a standard royal image on silver plates during the reign of Shapur II (A.D. 310–379). The theme, symbolizing the prowess of Sasanian rulers, was used to decorate these royal plates, which were often sent as gifts to neighboring courts. The king has various royal attributes: a crown and fillet, covered globe, nimbus with beaded border, and beaded chest halter with fluttering ribbons. The identity of the Sasanian king on this plate is uncertain. His crown identifies him as either Peroz (r. 459–484) or Kavad I (r. 488–497, 499–531).

Sasanian silver bowls were usually hammered into shape and then decorated in various complex techniques. On this plate, separate pieces of silver were inserted into lips cut up from the plate to provide high relief. The vessel was then gilded using an amalgam of mercury and gold, which could be painted onto the surface, and niello—a metallic alloy of sulfur and silver—was inlaid. The result was a vessel of varied surface contours and colors.
By 1930, collection of Hagop K. Kevorkian, New York; 1930, exhibited at the Kaiser Friedrich Museum, Berlin; 1931, exhibited in the Persian Exhibition, London; acquired by the Museum in 1934, purchased from Hagop K. Kevorkian, New York.

“Exhibition of Sasanian Art,” Kaiser Friedrich Museum, Berlin, 1930.

“International Exhibition of Persian Art,” Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1931.

“Sasanian Silver: Late Antique and Early Mediaeval Arts of Luxury from Iran,” The University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, August–September 1967.

“Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries: The Metropolitan Museum of Art,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, November 14, 1970–June 1, 1971.

“Gold,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, April 14–September 9, 1973.

“Wealth of the Roman World: Gold and Silver AD 300-700,” The British Museum, London, April 1–October 1, 1977.

“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.

“Splendeur des Sassanides: L’Empire Perse Entre Rome et la Chine,” Musées Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire, Brussels, February 12–April 25, 1993.

von Falke, Otto. 1930. "Sasanidische Kunst." Pantheon 6, p. 569.

Wilson, Arnold T. 1931. Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Persian Art. London: Royal Academy of Arts, p. 60, no. 91S.

Dimand, Maurice S. 1934. "A Sasanian Silver Dish." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 29, pp. 74-77, fig. 1, 2.

Erdmann, K. 1936. "Die Sasanidischen Jagdschalen." Jahrbuch der Preuszischen Kunstsammlungen, pp. 193-232, fig. 9.

Herzfeld, Ernst. 1938. "Khusrau Parwez und der Taq i Vastan." Archaeologische Mitteilungen aus Iran 9, pp. 91-159, pl. VII.

Pope, Arthur Upham. 1938. A Survey of Persian Art from Prehistoric Times to the Present, Vol. I. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 724, vol. IV, pl. 213.

Dimand, Maurice S. 1939. "New Galleries of Pre-Islamic and Early Islamic Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 34, pp. 122-126, fig. 2.

Erdmann, K. 1943. Die Kunst Irans Zur Zeit der Sasaniden. Berlin: Kupferberg, pp. 95, 137, fig. 63.

Dimand, Maurice S. 1944. Handbook of Muhammadan Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 16, fig. 9.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1952. Art Treasures of the Metropolitan. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 238, no. 193.

Ingholt, Harald. 1957. Gandharan Art in Pakistan. New York: Pantheon Books, p. 39, pl. XXIII:4.

Porada, Edith. 1962. Alt-Iran: die Kunst in Vorislamischer Zeit. Baden-Baden, Germany: Holle Verlag, p. 219.

Shepard, D.G. 1964. "Sasanian Art in Cleveland." Cleveland Art Museum Bulletin 51, pp. 77-78, fig. 15b.

Porada, Edith. 1965. The Art of Ancient Iran. New York: Crown Publishers, p. 219, pl. 59.

Bodenstein, Beatrice E., Vaughn E. Crawford, Prudence O. Harper, Oscar W. Muscarella. 1966. Ancient Near Eastern Art: Guide to the Collections. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 37, fig. 59.

Grabar, Oleg. 1967. "An Introduction to the Art of Sasanian Sillver." In Sasanian Silver: Late Antique and Early Medieval Arts of Luxury From Iran, exh. cat. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Museum of Art, p. 90, no. 2.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1970. Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries, exh. cat. New York: Dutton, no. 102, p. 142.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1972. Guide to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 55, fig. 24.

Nickel, Helmut. 1973. "About the Sword of the Huns and the 'Urepos' of the Steppes." Metropolitan Museum Journal 7, pp. 135-137, fig. 17.

Kent, J.P.C. and K.S. Painter (ed.). 1977. Wealth of the Roman World. Gold and Silver AD 300-700, exh. cat. The Trustees of the British Museum, p. 147, no. 308.

Ettinghausen, Richard. 1978. "Das Pferd in der Orientalischen Kunst." Europäische Kunstzeitschrift, p. 65.

Harper, Prudence Oliver. 1978. The Royal Hunter: Art of the Sasanian Empire, exh. cat. New York: Asia House, pp. 18, 27, 35, 40-42.

Hibbard, Howard. 1980. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: Harper and Row, p. 63, fig. 122.

Meyers, Pieter. 1981. "Technical Studies of Sasanian Silver." Museum Applied Science Center for Archaeology Journal 1, pp. 242-245, pl. 1.

Harper, Prudence Oliver and Pieter Meyers. 1981. Silver Vessels of the Sasanian Period, Vol. I. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 64-66, pl. 17.

Harper, Prudence O. et al. 1983. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Selections from the Collection of the Ancient Near East Department, exh. cat. Tokyo: Chunichi Shimbun, fig. 12.

Howard, Kathleen ed. 1983. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 49, fig. 10.

Harper, Prudence O. et al. 1984. "Ancient Near Eastern Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 41 (4), Spring 1984, p. 46, fig. 63.

Musées Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire. 1993. Splendeur des Sassanides: L’Empire Perse Entre Rome et la Chine, exh. cat. Brussels: Communal, p. 189.

Benzel, Kim, Sarah B. Graff, Yelena Rakic, and Edith W. Watts. 2010. Art of the Ancient Near East: A Resource for Educators. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, fig. 8, pp. 21, 110.
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