Jewelry elements,Timurid period (1370–1507), late 14th–16th century
Iran or Central Asia
Gold sheet; worked, chased, and set with turquoise, gray chalcedony, and glass; large medallion: H. 2 7/8 in. (7.3 cm), W. 2 3/4 in. (7 cm), half medallion: H. 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm), W. 2 3/4 in. (7 cm), cartouches: H. 3/4 in. (1.9 cm), W. 1/2 in. (1.3 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1989 (1989.87a–l)
An attribution of this rare and splendid necklace to the first half of the fourteenth century, and therefore to the period of dominance of the Mongol Ilkhanid rulers in Iran (1256–1353), is suggested by the presence of both the recumbent deer and the floral composition worked in repoussé on the reverse of the larger elements. It is also corroborated by contemporaneous book illustration, such as a painting showing a very similar composite necklace in a scene from a copy of the Shahnama (The Book of Kings) depicting Sindukht becoming aware of Rudaba's actions, datable to the second quarter of the fourteenth century (Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington, D.C.). The new Ilkhanid style, however, was influential in the development of the arts in Iran for many decades after this dynasty's demise; thus, it is possible that the necklace dates to the late fourteenth or early fifteenth century under the Timurids. A few small elements from the necklace are missing, but the two largest and most elaborately decorated ones—the central pendant hanging on the chest and the half-medallion centered behind the neck—have survived, making it one of the most important medieval Iranian jewels known today.