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Home > Auctions > 30th November 2021 > Sassanian Bulb-Shaped Silver Bottle

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LOT 0185

GBP (£) 10,000 - 14,000
EUR (€) 11,750 - 16,440
USD ($) 13,280 - 18,590

£9,000 (EUR 10,571; USD 11,953) (+bp*)

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Sassanian Bulb-Shaped Silver Bottle

7th century AD

A silver vessel with piriform body, everted D-section neck, flat rim, circular piercing to the rounded base. 479 grams, 17cm (6 3/4"). Very fine condition, dent to body.

Property of a London gentleman; formerly with Mahboubian Gallery, London, UK; acquired before 1972; this lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate number no.10947-181165.

See for similar decorated examples BM inventory nos.1897,1231.189; Arthur M. Sackler Gallery no. DSC05785 and DSC05779; for discussion on these vessels see Ghirsman, R., 'Notes Iraniennes V Scènes de banquet sur l'argenterie sassanide' in Source: Artibus Asiae, Vol. 16, no.1/2 (1953), pp.4, 51-76, figs.5, 6, 7, 9.

This silver bottle is characteristic of late Sassanid goldsmithing, a fine example of the luxuries displayed during royal or religious banquets. These banquets were organised on the occasion of festivals, the most important of which under the Sassanids were those of Nowrouz and Mihrgan, intended to mark the happy outcome of a war or a successful royal hunt, at which rich tableware of gold and silver was used. Admired in the royal palace and in stately homes by guests, these vessels attested the glory of the Šāhanšāh (King of kings).