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Sasanian dish

Post #995 • April 25, 2007, 10:17 AM • 2 Comments

New York City—From Glass, Gilding, and Grand Design: Art of Sasanian Iran (224-642), a gilded silver dish depicting a crowned hero hunting boar. This is a ringer of a show up through May 20 at the Asia Society, with objects that hail from a culture which enjoyed the golden age of Zoroastrianism, offical trilingualism (Pahlavi, Greek, and Parthian), and productive explorations of medicine and literature. Individual works blend Oriental and Occidental traits with such equal measure that they could look European or Chinese depending on which way you squint at them.

Gallery notes mention a dish recently excavated from a Chinese tomb with a notably similar design to this one, which was recovered from an east Iranian borderzone. The Chinese dish dates from a hundred years later, indicating some kind of epic or heroic story shared between the two empires.

Dish, Sasanian, 4th-early 5th century, gilded silver, 5 cm high; 23.4 cm diameter, private collection, photograph by Maggie Nimkin

detail, photograph by Maggie Nimkin

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Comment

1.

Marc Country

April 25, 2007, 12:35 PM

Mmm... Bacon.

2.

ahab

April 25, 2007, 6:01 PM

I kindof thought that the first detail was a different dish altogether, until I realized it was a 7/8ths view of the thing. See how the hunter's head comes into alignment when looking across it from an angle.

There's nothing I don't like about this plate (but those are some crazy coat-tail tassles blowing in the wind). 1600 years of scratches, cracks and patina have only added to its attractiveness.

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