Provenance information coming soon
Inscription & Other Marking Notes
Two hallmarks are stamped into this plate (4 mm length), the first complete hallmark is pressed into the outside shoulder of the plate, under the rider’s scarf. The second incomplete hallmark is inside of the foot ring (Chase 1968, 79). This hallmark dates to the late Russian Empire: ’84’ indicates the zolotnik (a Russian unit of mass standard for silver), and the unclear Greek letter below the profile of a woman’s head (called the kokoshnik) indicates the region of the assay. The plate was obviously not created in the late Russian Empire but the hallmark makes it appear as such to an uninformed evaluator. After enlightening conversations on the topic with colleagues at the State Hermitage Museum, Larisa Kulakova and Marina Lapato, in the summer of 2018, the author believes that the Imperial Russian hallmarks may have been used to smuggle the plate across the border of the Russian Empire in the guise of a modern silver piece. Thus, this particular plate was probably not part of the mass liquidation of art under the early Soviet Union as was previously supposed.
silver with gilding / 23.9-24 cm diameter x 5 cm height / 870.2 g weight
For an in-depth technical analysis, see Chase 1968; Harper and Meyers 1981, 171.
*Note that one of the 17 crimped in pieces fell out between 1909 and 1934.
Major Eurasian Silver Publications
Harper, Prudence Oliver, and Pieter Meyers. Silver Vessels of the Sasanian Period. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, published in association with Princeton University Press, 1981. [Pl. 15]
Smirnov, Ia. I. Vostochnoe serebro: atlasʺ drevnei serebrianoi i zolotoi posudy vostochnago proiskhozhdeniia naidennoi preimushchestvenno vʺ prědelakhʺ Rossiiskoi imperii. Saint Petersburg: Publishing House of the Imperial Archaeological Commission, 1909. [T. XXIX № 57]
Chase, W. T. ‘The Technical Examination of Two Sasanian Silver Plates’. Ars Orientalis 7 (1968): 75–93.
Gunter, Ann Clyburn, and Paul Jett, eds. Ancient Iranian Metalwork in the Arthur M. Sackler Galleryand the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington, D.C. ; Mainz, Germany: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution ; Distributed by P. von Zabern, 1992.
Otchet Imperatorskoi Arkheologicheskoi Komissii 1878 i 1879. Saint Petersburg, 1881.
National Museum of Asian Art / Freer Gallery of Art F1934.23
(1) National Museum of Asian Art / Freer Gallery of Art F1934.23
(2) Ia. I. Smirnov, Vostochnoe serebro: atlasʺ drevnei serebrianoi i zolotoi posudy vostochnago proiskhozhdeniia naidennoi preimushchestvenno vʺ prědelakhʺ Rossiiskoi imperii (Saint Petersburg: Publishing House of the Imperial Archaeological Commission, 1909), № 57.
(3-4) W. T. Chase, “The Technical Examination of Two Sasanian Silver Plates.” Ars Orientalis 7 (1968): figs. 5-6.