Cup with a frieze of gazelles

Period: Iron Age II

Date: ca. early 1st millennium B.C.

Geography: Northwestern Iran, Caspian region

Culture: Iran

Medium: Gold

Dimensions: H. 2 1/2 in. (6.5 cm)

Classification: Metalwork-Vessels

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1962

Accession Number: 62.84


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.