Illustrated introduction to Ancient Persia, £8.99
Sasanian, 5th-7th century AD
Persian long-tailed bird
This fluted silver bowl is typical of the
highly skilled Sasanian silversmiths. It is decorated with a
long-tailed bird in the centre. The foot of the dish was made
separately and a
The Sasanian dynasty originated in the province of Fars in Iran around AD 224. The major rival of Rome, and later of Byzantium, the Sasanian kingdom also had contacts towards the east.
The Sasanian Empire fell in AD 642 to the attacks of the Muslim Arabs. The artists and craftsmen, however, put themselves at the disposal of the new rulers and the needs of the new religion, and it was through them that the traditional Persian ornament came to have a profound influence on Islamic art.
J.P.C. Kent and K.S. Painter (eds.), Wealth of the Roman world, AD (London, The British Museum Press, 1977)