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Cup with a frieze of gazelles

Iron Age II
ca. early 1st millennium B.C.
Northwestern Iran, Caspian region
H. 2 1/2 in. (6.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1962
Accession Number:
  • Description

    A number of vessels similar in form and technique to this one have been excavated in the rich burials at Marlik, a site southwest of the Caspian Sea in northern Iran; one is also known from Susa, in southwestern Iran.

    On the body of the cup, four gazelles, framed horizontally by guilloche bands, walk in procession to the left. Their bodies are rendered in the repoussé technique and are detailed with finely chased lines to indicate hair and musculature. The projecting heads were made separately, as were the ears and horns, and were fastened invisibly in place by a colloid hard-soldering, a process much practiced in Iran involving glue and copper salt. The hooves and eyes are indented, probably to receive inlays.

  • Provenance

    Acquired by the Museum in 1962, purchased from K. Rabenou Ltd., New York.

  • References

    Wilkinson, Charles K. 1965. "Art of the Marlik Culture." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 24 (3), p. 45.

    Crawford, Vaughn E. 1965. "Some Notes from an Excavation." Apollo LXXXII, No. 43 (September 1965), p. 216, fig. 8.

    Crawford, Vaughn E. et al. 1966. Guide to the Ancient Near East Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p.29, fig. 46.

    Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1970. Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries, exh. cat. New York: Dutton, no. 43, p. 101, p. 29.

    Muscarella, Oscar W. 1972. "A bronze Vase from Iran and its Greek Connections." Metropolitan Museum Journal 5, pp. 40, 43.

    Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1972. Guide to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 28, fig. 46.

    Hoving, Thomas, and Carmen Gómez-Moreno. 1972-1973. "Gold." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 31 (2), Winter 1972/1973, p. 82.

    Porada, Edith. 1975. "Iranische Kunst." In Der Alte Orient, edited by Winfried Orthmann. Propyläen Kunstgschichte 14. Berlin: Propyläen, p. 373; p. 390, pl. XXXVII.

    Hibbard, Howard. 1980. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: Harper and Row, fig. 110, p. 60.

    Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1983. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide, edited by Kathleen Howard. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 47, fig. 5.

    Muscarella, Oscar W. 1983. In The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Selections from the Collection of the Ancient Near East Department, exh. cat. Tokyo: Chunichi Shimbun, no. 44.

    Harper, Prudence O. et al. 1984. "Ancient Near Eastern Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 41 (4), Spring 1984, p. 31, fig. 34.

    Ferrier, Ronald W. 1989. The Arts of Persia. New Haven: Yale University Press, p. 22.

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History