On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 453

This small brass figure, whose original use is unknown, represents a standing figure holding a cup. In the pre-Islamic Central Asian Turkic nomadic world, ceremonies involving the drinking of wine from cups were associated with kingship and investiture, and implied the establishment and display of social hierarchies. Among the many representations of this period, are stone statues depicting a standing or squatting cup-bearer which were found in funerary contexts.
A legacy of these cup rites persisted among the Seljuqs and is attested in contemporary iconography. Here, however, wine drinking ceremonies were mostly part of the ruler’s pleasures, and cup-bearers were among his boon companions.

Figure, Brass; cast, chased, gilded

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.