FS-6939_06

The Shapur Plate, Iran, Sasanian period, Reign of Shapur II (309-379 C.E.), 4th century, Silver and gilt, H x Diam: 5 x 24 cm, Purchase, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, F1934.23. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art

The wealth and power of ancient Iran was in part expressed in portable luxury objects fashioned from precious metals and decorated with royal imagery.

From the establishment of the Achaemenid Empire in circa 550 BCE to the fall of the Sasanians to Muslim conquerors in 642 CE, Iran played a central role in the history of the ancient world alongside the Assyrian, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine empires. Rulers affirmed their political power through monumental architecture, such as the Achaemenid palace of Persepolis and the towering rock carvings of the Sasanians at Naqsh-i Rustam. They also displayed their wealth and authority through luxury objects fashioned from precious metals and decorated with royal imagery.

Silver vessels, including bowls, goblets, plates, and ewers, graced imperial banqueting tables, where they inspired awe and commanded respect in friends and foes alike. Some of the objects were used in elaborate religious ceremonies, and others were sent to far-flung corners of the Persian Empire and beyond as diplomatic gifts and impressive reminders of royal power and generosity. Together these works evoke a highly sophisticated world with an extensive network of military, commercial, and cultural contacts that extended across much of Asia and Europe for centuries.

jar

Jar, Iran, ca. 2400-1400 BCE, Earthenware with paint, H x W x D: 23.4 x 21.7 x 21.7 cm (9 3/16 x 8 9/16 x 8 9/16 in), Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, S1998.21. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.

Animal figure

Animal figure, Iran?, 2nd millemium BCE, Silver, H x W x D: 2.8 x 3.9 x 1.6 cm (1 1/8 x 1 9/16 x 5/8 in), Gift of Arthur M. Sackler, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, S1987.152b. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.

Feline Animal Figure

Feline Animal Figure, Iran?, 2000-1000 BCE, Silver, H x W x D: 8 x 18.5 x 4.2 cm (3 1/8 x 7 5/16 x 1 5/8 in), Gift of Arthur M. Sackler, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, S1987.195. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.

Lid

Lid, Western Iran, 2000-1000 BCE, Silver, H (overall): 10.5 cm (4 1/8 in), Gift of Arthur M. Sackler, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, S1987.110. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.

FS-8229_07

Anthropomorphic vessel, Northern Iran, Iron Age I - II, ca. 1400-800 BCE, Earthenware, H x W x D: 47 x 15.5 x 12.5 cm (18 1/2 x 6 1/8 x 4 15/16 in), Gift of Arthur M. Sackler, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, S1987.68. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.

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Plaque Fragment, Northwest Iran, Iron Age I - II, ca. 1200-900 BCE, Silver, H x W: 12.9 x 8.5 cm (5 1/16 x 3 3/8 in), Gift of Arthur M. Sackler, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, S1987.120a. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art

plaque

Plaque Fragments, Northwest Iran, Iron Age I - II, ca. 1200-900 BCE, Silver; repoussed, hammered, and chased, H x W: 16.5 x 13.1 cm (6 1/2 x 5 3/16 in)Gift of Arthur M. Sackler, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, S1987.120b. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art

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Zoomorphic vessel, Germi, Iran, Iron Age I - II, 1400-800 BCE, Burnished earthenware, H x W x D: 19.4 x 27.2 x 14.3 cm (7 5/8 x 10 11/16 x 5 5/8 in), Gift of Osborne and Gratia Hauge, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, S1998.206. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.

Beak-spouted jar

Beak-spouted jar, North Iran, Iron Age I - II, ca. 1400-800 BCE, Earthenware, H x W x D: 17.4 x 37.7 x 19.7 cm (6 7/8 x 14 13/16 x 7 3/4 in), Gift of Osborne and Gratia HaugeFreer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, S1998.23. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.

Cup with lions and trees

Cup with lions and trees, Western Iran, 1st millenium BCE, Gold, H x Diam (overall): 6.7 x 10.1 cm (2 5/8 x 4 in), Gift of Arthur M. Sackler, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, S1987.147. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.

Goat

Goat, Northwest Iran, Iron Age II, ca. 1000-800 BCE, Bronze and stone, H x W x D: 26 x 15.8 x 8.7 cm (10 1/4 x 6 1/4 x 3 7/16 in), Gift of Arthur M. SacklerFreer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, S1987.18. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art

Cheek Piece

Cheek Piece, Iron Age II - III, ca. 1000-650 BCE, Copper alloy; cast, H x W x D: 13.6 x 12.7 x 3.5 cm (5 3/8 x 5 x 1 3/8 in), Gift of Arthur M. Sackler, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, S1987.127. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.

Knob

Knob, Northwest Iran, 1000-1 BCE, Gold, copper alloy, iron, clay, H x W x D: 3.2 x 5.3 x 5.3 cm (1 1/4 x 2 1/16 x 2 1/16 in), Gift of Arthur M. Sackler, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, S1987.202a. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.

Cup

Cup, Southwest Caspian, Iran, 800-700 BCE, Gold, H x W x D: 10.2 x 6.5 x 6.4 cm (4 x 2 9/16 x 2 1/2 in), Gift of Arthur M. Sackler, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, S1987.199. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.

FS-6115_09

Breastplate fragment, Northwestern Iran, Iron Age III, ca. 800-500 BCE, Gold, H x W x D: 9.3 x 18.1 x 0.5 cm (3 11/16 x 7 1/8 x 3/16 in), Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn to the Smithsonian Institution, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, S1986.496. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.

Phiale with inscription

Phiale with inscription, Iran, Achaemenid period, 499-400 BCE, Silver, H x Diam (overall): 4.8 x 29.5 cm (1 7/8 x 11 5/8 in), Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, F1974.30. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.

Stamp seal

Stamp seal, Iran, Achaemenid period (ca. 550 - 331 BCE), Carnelian, H x W x D: 1.6 × 1.3 × 1.9 cm (5/8 × 1/2 × 3/4 in), Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Leonard Gorelick, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, F1999.6.38. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.

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Heartshaped gold ornament, Iran, Parthian period, 2nd century BCE - 2nd century CE, Gold, H x W x D (overall): 5.3 x 5 x 1 cm (2 1/16 x 1 15/16 x 3/8 in), Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, F1961.22. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.

Spouted vessel with lion protome

Spouted vessel with lion protome, Iran, Parthian period, 1st century BCE-1st century CE, Silver and gilt, H x W x D: 25.8 x 26.9 x 17.5 cm (10 3/16 x 10 9/16 x 6 7/8 in), Gift of Arthur M. Sackler, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, S1987.130. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.

11

Spouted vessel with lynx protome, Iran, Parthian period, 1st century BCE-1st century CE, Silver and gilt, H x W x D: 23.5 x 12.4 x 30.4 cm (9 1/4 x 4 7/8 x 11 15/16 in)Gift of Arthur M. Sackler, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, S1987.131. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.

téléchargement

Funerary relief bust, Palmyra, Homs, Syria, 3rd century (dated 231 CE), Limestone, H x W x D (overall): 60.1 x 55.3 x 23 cm (23 11/16 x 21 3/4 x 9 1/16 in), Gift of Charles Lang Freer, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, F1908.236. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.

8

Elliptical bowl, Iran, Sasanian period, 225-650, Silver and gilt; hammered, chased, repousse, gilded, H x W x D: 7.3 x 27 x 12.8 cm (2 7/8 x 10 5/8 x 5 1/16 in). Gift of Arthur M. Sackler, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, S1987.111. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.

Rhyton-1

Spouted vessel with gazelle protome, Iran or Afghanistan, Sasanian period, 4th century, Silver and gilt, H x W x D: 15.5 x 25.4 x 14.1 cm (6 1/8 x 10 x 5 9/16 in), Gift of Arthur M. Sackler, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, S1987.33. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art

FS-8086_10

Plate, Iran, Sasanian period, Sasanian period, 5th-7th century, Silver and gilt, H x Diam (overall): 4.5 × 22.1 cm (1 3/4 × 8 11/16 in), Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, F1964.10. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art

6

Ewer with female figures, Iran, Sasanian period, 6th–7th century, Silver and gilt, H x W x D: 35.5 x 16.9 x 14 cm, Gift of Arthur M. Sackler, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, S1987.117. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.

5

Ewer with female figuresIran, Sasanian period, 6th–7th century, Silver and gilt, H x W x D (overall): 32.5 x 15.2 x 12.3 cm (12 13/16 x 6 x 4 13/16 in), Gift of Arthur M. Sackler, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, S1987.118a-b. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.

Vase

VaseIran, Sasanian period, 6th–7th century, Silver and gilt; hammered, repousse, chased, gildedH x Diam (overall): 18.2 × 11.1 cm (7 3/16 × 4 3/8 in)Purchase — Charles Lang Freer EndowmentFreer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery CollectionF1965.20. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.

Vase 2

VaseIran, Sasanian period, 6th–7th century, Silver and gilt; hammered, repousse, chased, gildedH x Diam: 19.4 × 11.2 cm (7 5/8 × 4 7/16 in)Purchase — Charles Lang Freer EndowmentFreer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery CollectionF1966.1. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.

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High-footed bowl with interior medallionIran, Sasanian period, 500-600, Silver and niello, H x W x D: 10.2 x 18 x 18 cm (4 x 7 1/16 x 7 1/16 in), Gift of Arthur M. Sackler, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, S1987.106. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.

10

PlateIran, Sasanian period, 500-700, Silver gilt, H x W x D: 4.7 x 21 x 21 cm (1 7/8 x 8 1/4 x 8 1/4 in), Gift of Arthur M. Sackler, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, S1987.124. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.

7

Plate, Iran, Sasanian period, 600-800, Silver and goldH x Diam: (overall): 4.2 x 20.7 cm (1 5/8 x 8 1/8 in)Gift of Arthur M. SacklerFreer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, S1987.109. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.

9

Lobed elliptical bowl, Iran, Sasanian period, 7th century, Silver and gilt, H x W x D (overall): 4.5 x 19.2 x 12.8 cm (1 3/4 x 7 9/16 x 5 1/16 in), Gift of Arthur M. Sackler, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, S1987.116. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.

12

Plate, Iran, Sasanian period, 7th century, Silver and gilt, H x W x D: 5.5 x 21.8 x 21.8 cm (2 3/16 x 8 9/16 x 8 9/16 in), Gift of Arthur M. Sackler, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, S1987.123. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.

13

Plate, Iran, Sasanian period, 600-700, Silver and gilt, H x W x D: 3.7 x 20.5 x 20.5 cm (1 7/16 x 8 1/16 x 8 1/16 in), Gift of Arthur M. Sackler, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, S1987.125. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.

Hemispherical bowl

Hemispherical bowl, Iran, Sasanian period or later, 7th-8th century, Silver and gilt, H x W x D: 5.7 x 14.3 x 14.3 cm (2 1/4 x 5 5/8 x 5 5/8 in), Gift of Arthur M. Sackler, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, S1987.105. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art

Plate_F1943

Ewer, Iraq or Iran, Buyid period, third quarter 10th century, Gold sheet, raised, with repoussé and engraving, H x Diam: 16 x 9.4 cm, Purchase, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, F1943.1. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art

2

Tile, Sultanabad, Iran, Il-Khanid dynasty, 14th century, Stone-paste painted under clear glaze, H x W: 20.7 x 20.8 cm (8 1/8 x 8 3/16 in), Gift of Mrs. Myron Bement Smith, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection, F1973.15. © Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery / The Smithsonian's Museums of Asian Art.