Dish in the Shape of a Leaf. Tang dynasty (618–907), late 7th–early 8th century. Silver with parcel gilding. L. 5 3/4 in. (14.6 cm) Purchase, Arthur M. Sackler Gift, 1974. Accession Number: 1974.268.11 © 2000–2012 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The art of the silversmith reached its peak in China during the Tang dynasty, when close ties with Central and West Asia brought in foreign influence in both forms and motifs. The manufacturing techniques also changed from traditional methods of casting to hammering and chasing. This exquisite dish in the shape of a leaf, decorated with flowers and birds in repoussé (hammered from the reverse), exemplifies the marvel of Tang decorative art.