6th or 7th century AD
silver, cast, with traces of gilding on the lion’s body and engraved and punched decoration
5 x 22cm
The theme of the advancing beast of prey is well known in Sasanian art. By comparison with some of the better known silver vessels, however, this dish is not worked in high relief and no attempt has been made to decorate either the ground line or the plain circular surround. This indicates that it was made in a provincial centre away from the court, or, alternatively, that it was not intended for court use, either by the ruler or to fulfil an official role, for example as a gift or tribute.
J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.14, pp.38–9.