- Museum number
- Series: Oxus Treasure
Gold armlet: penannular, the hoop almost solid at the back and tubular towards the ends which are in the form of winged monsters with griffin heads, their hind quarters and legs being in low relief; the horns are chiselled into a series of deep square settings close together, and the ends are cup-shaped; the neck and breast, the outer side of the wings, and the back are ornamented with fine applied cells or cloisons which in the first two instances imitate feathers, and on the back are in the form of broad circumflex accents placed one above the other across a rectangular sunken panel; the face, body and limbs are deeply chased with hollows following the lines of the bodies of the monsters and which, like all the applied cells and chiselled settings, were originally inlaid with coloured stones, including lazulite, although no trace of these survive; the heads, ears, horns and wings are separately made.
- Production date
- 5thC BC-4thC BC
Height: 12.30 centimetres
Weight: 396.50 grammes
Thickness: 2.61 centimetres (at horns)
Width: 11.57 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- The other armlet to complete the pair belongs to the Victoria and Albert Museum, 442-1884 (on long-term loan to the British Museum). It was purchased from Capt. F.C. Burton in 1884.
H. 12.4 cm, W. 11.7 cm, Wt. 395.5 g.
- Bibliographic references
Sarre F 1922a / Die Kunst des Alten Persien (no.50)
Rogers R W 1929a / A History of Ancient Persia from its earliest beginnings to the death of Alexander the Great (fig.39)
Pope 1938 / Survey of Persian Art (pl. 113A) (captioned as V&A)
Dalton 1964a / The treasure of the Oxus with other examples of early oriental metal-work (pp. 32-34, pl. I, cat. no. 116)
Rice TT 1965a / Ancient Arts of Central Asia (p. 138, fig. 123)
Barnett 1968a / The Art of Bactria and the Treasure of the Oxus (p.40, pl. II: 1)
Hicks J 1976a / The Persians (p.87)
Moorey P R S 1985a / The Iranian Contribution to Achaemenid Material Culture (p.33) (briefly discusses in connection with the use of inlays as being conceptually related to the use of appliqués)
Curtis 1989a / Ancient Persia (p. 53, fig. 62)
Mitchell T C 1989a / Oxus. Der Oxus-Schatz aus dem British Museum London / The Oxus Treasure from the British Museum, London (pp.28-29, no. 1)
Curtis 1997a / Mesopotamia and Iran in the Persian Period: Conquest and Imperialism 539-331 BC (Proceedings of a Seminar in memory of Vladimir G. Lukonin) (pl. 1)
Curtis 1997b / Franks and the Oxus Treasure (pl. 35)
Miller M C 1997a / Athens and Persia in the fifth century BC. A study in cultural receptivity (p.58, pl. 19) (comments on Achaemenid griffins)
Curtis 2000a / Ancient Persia (fig. 69)
Allen 2005a / The Persian Empire: A History (p.92)
Curtis & Tallis 2005 / Forgotten Empire: The world of Ancient Persia (cat. 153, p. 139)
Armbruster 2010a / Technological Aspects of Selected Gold Objects in the Oxus Treasure (pp.397-402)
Simpson 2012a / Afghanistan. A Cultural History (pp.42-43)
Mongiatti et al 2010 / A gold four-horse model chariot from the Oxus Treasure: a fine illustration of Achaemenid goldwork (p.28, fig.1)
- On display (G52/dc3)
- Exhibition history
2013 27 Sept-early Dec, Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum, 'Cyrus Cylinder'
2013 9 Aug-20 Sept, San Francisco, Asian Arts Museum, 'Cyrus Cylinder'
2013 21 June-2 Aug, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 'Cyrus Cylinder'
2013 3 May-14 June, Houston, Museum of Fine Arts, 'Cyrus Cylinder'
2013 15 Mar-26 Apr, Washington, Freer Sackler Gallery, 'Cyrus Cylinder'
2006 7 Mar-11 Jun, Barcelona, Fundacion La Caixa, 'L'imperi Oblidat'
2005 Sept-2006 Jan, BM, 'Forgotten Empire'
2004 16 Mar-2 May, BM, Round Reading Room 'Noruz/Haft Sin'
1995-2005 17 Nov-, BM, G52/IRAN/28a
1994 16 Jun-23 Dec, BM, G49/IRAN/28a
1990 28 Jun-23 Sep, Australia, Melbourne, Museum of Victoria, 'Civilization: Ancient Treasures from the British Museum', cat. no.14
1990 24 Mar-10 Jun, Australia, Canberra, National Gallery of Australia, 'Civilization: Ancient Treasures from the British Museum', cat. no.14
1989 Museum Rietberg, Zürich, 'Oxus. Der Oxus-Schatzaus dem British Museum London / The Oxus Treasure from the British Museum, London'
1989 Temporary display, BM, Room 35 (Hinton St Mary mosaic staircase)
1975-ca 1990 Jul-, BM, Iranian Room [IR], OT case, no 1
1931-ca 1939 BM, Room 20: Persian Room
1923-1931 BM, King Edward VII Building: Franks Display
1900- BM, Gold Ornament Room
- Inlays missing.
- Acquisition date
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: OT 116 (catalogue no)