Recent Advances in Research on Iranian and Central Asian Metalware. A Few Examples - Iranian Silver Plates from Sasanian and Post-Sasanian Iran

Frantz Grenet (Collège de France)

Decisive advances in the study of vessels from this period were made in the 1980’s, mainly through masterly books by Prudence Harper (Silver vessels from the Sasanian period : The royal imagery, 1981) and Boris Marshak (Silberschätze des Orients, 1986). While the chronology and typology of the mass of vessels bearing royal images was firmly established, the few « mythological » scenes remained elusive, with no precise correspondences in the transmitted Zoroastrian literature. Some new avenues of interpretation have been explored since, partly thanks to comparisons with wall paintings from Central Asia. Two pieces from the Hermitage Museum will be discussed more in detail: the late Sasanian plate from Bolshaya Anikovskaya (showing a girl abducted by a giant bird) and the post-Sasanian one from Klimova (showing a monumental clock with the Moon god and associated figures).


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