Iranian / Plate with king hunting rams / late 5th-early 6th century A.D.Iranian
Plate with king hunting rams
late 5th-early 6th century A.D.

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Middle Eastern; Persian
Creator Name-CRT: Iranian
Title: Plate with king hunting rams
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 466
Creation End Date: 533
Creation Date: late 5th-early 6th century A.D.
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: Silver, mercury gilding, niello inlay
Dimensions: H. 1 7/8 in. (4.6 cm); Diam. 8 5/8 in. (21.9 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 34.33
Credit Line: Fletcher Fund, 1934

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.

AMICA ID: MMA_.34.33
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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