Bowl with interior medallion

Historical period(s)
Parthian period, ca. 100-224 CE
Silver; hammered, chased, and punched
H x W x D: 6.3 x 20.5 x 20.5 cm (2 1/2 x 8 1/16 x 8 1/16 in)
Iran or Syria
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Metalwork, Vessel


Iran, man, Parthian period (247 BCE - 224 CE), punching, Syria
Provenance research underway.

Silver bowls of open form, with an interior central medallion enclosing a chased figure, occur among Roman silver plate dating to the late second century C.E. The petal design on the exterior of this example resembles decoration on Hellenistic moldmade ceramic relief bowls, vessels dating from the third to first century B.C.E. which have silver counterparts of probably contemporary date, and a wide distribution.

A more precise artistic home for the Sackler silver bowl emerges from a study of the interior decoration. Parallels for the figure and style of dress are found among the stone funerary sculptures from Palmyra, in central Syria, dating to the second and third centuries C.E.  In this period, many inhabitants of the city were represented in Parthian on the funerary monuments they commissioned.

Published References
  • Ann C. Gunter, Paul Jett. Ancient Iranian Metalwork in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington and Mainz, Germany, 1992. cat. 6, pp. 83-86.
  • "German." Weihrauch und Seide: alte Kulturen an der Seidenstrasse: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, 21. Jänner bis 14. April 1996. Vienna, 1996. cat. 72, p. 227.
Collection Area(s)
Ancient Near Eastern Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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