Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Catalog Data

Silver and gilt
H x W x D: 15.5 x 25.4 x 14.1 cm (6 1/8 x 10 x 5 9/16 in)
Iran or Afghanistan
4th century
Sasanian period
Rhyton with compact horn and protome in the form of a gazelle's head. A small tubular spout, damaged, protudes from the mouth. The lower part of the horn is fluted; on the upper part of the horn, above the scalloped edge of the fluting, is a bifurcated file of animals approaching a central tree: recumbent caprid, lion, trilobed tree with sinuous trunk, humped bull, caprid. The fur is represented by overall hatched lines; the figures are spot-gilded.
Above the frieze, a twisted band encircles the horn; between the band and the rim is a row of disks. The rim is rolled over and thickened on the exterior. Gilded details are: twisted bands around horns and behind head, nose, two flutes on underside of horn, parts of repoussé animals.
By 1966
Farhadi and Anavian Collection, New York, New York by October 1966 [1]
By 1967
R. & D. Anavian, Tehran, Iran and New York, New York by May 1967 [2]
From 1967 to 1987
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987), New York, purchased on May 2, 1967 likely in Tehran, Iran [3]
From 1987
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Dr. Arthur M. Sackler, New York [4]
[1] At the time of the publication of Dorothy Shepherd’s article on the rhyton, the piece was in the collection of Farhadi and Anavian, New York. See Dorothy Shepherd, “Two Silver Rhyta,” Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art, 53 (1966), 300 fig. 11. See also object file.
[2] See invoice dated May 2, 1967, copy in object file, Collections Management Office.
[3] See note 2.
[4] Pursuant to the agreement between Dr. Arthur M. Sackler and the Smithsonian Institution, dated July 28, 1982, legal title of the donated objects was transferred to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery on September 11, 1987.
Arthur M. Sackler Collection
Exhibition History:
Persia: Ancient Iran and the Classical World (April 6, 2022 to August 8, 2022)
Animal-Shaped Vessels from the Ancient World: Feasting with the Gods, Heroes and Kings (September 7, 2018 to January 6, 2019)
Feast Your Eyes: A Taste for Luxury in Ancient Iran (February 4, 2012 - ongoing)
Le Perses Sassanides ou les Fastes d'un empire oublie (The Persian Sasanians, Luxury Goods from a Forgotten Empire)" (September 15, 2006 to May 20, 2007)
Antioch: The Lost Roman City (October 7, 2000 to December 30, 2001)
Weihrauch und Seide: Geld und Lexus aus dem Antiken Orient (January 21, 1996 to April 14, 1996)
Incense and Silk: Ancient Cultures Along the Silk Road (January 22 to April 14, 1996)
Luxury Arts of the Silk Route Empires (May 9, 1993 to January 28, 2007)
Nomads and Nobility: Art from the Ancient Near East (September 28, 1987 to November 1, 1992)
Treasures from the Smithsonian Institution at the Royal Scottish Museum (August 11, 1984 to November 5, 1984)
The Royal Hunter: Art of the Sasanian Empire (Winter 1978)
Previous custodian or owner:
Dr. Arthur M. Sackler (1913-1987)
R. & D. Anavian
Farhadi and Anavian Co.
lion  Search this
bull  Search this
gazelle  Search this
Sasanian period (ca. 224 - 651)  Search this
Afghanistan  Search this
Iran  Search this
Ancient Near Eastern Art  Search this
Credit Line:
Gift of Arthur M. Sackler
Accession Number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
Related Online Resources:
Google Cultural Institute
See more items in:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collection
Data Source:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery