Ancient Near East / Central Asia, Sasanian (Sassanian / Sassanid) Empire, ca. 2nd to 7th century CE. A gorgeous, shallow, cast bronze bowl that stands on three round, ball-like feet. The walls of the bowl are straight, with a very narrow rim that flares outward at the top. In tondo is an ornate, round, incised motif that looks like interlocking bands. Around the exterior are repeated incised lines that resemble a stylized image of an ancient city skyline, complete with walls and low buildings. Size: 7" W x 2.05" H (17.8 cm x 5.2 cm)
The Sasanian elite valued beautiful metal objects, especially those that either were or looked like silver and gold. Many of these objects drew inspiration from Greco-Roman artwork, but others, like this bowl, had more abstract motifs. Sasanian artistic culture, in turn, spread along the Silk Road, influencing metalwork in western Iran and the Caspian Sea, and bowls like this one have been found as far afield as the eastern coast of China.
Provenance: private Orange County, California, USA collection
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