- Museum number
- Series: Oxus Treasure
Gold jug: oviform body decorated with horizontal fluting, contracting rapidly towards the small base; the plain broad neck expands at the rim, which has an open spout, the end of which has been cut off; the cast handle is octagonal in section, expanding below a circular rosette; its upper end is in the form of a lion's head, representing as biting the rim, and the bottom is secured to the wall with a single rivet; centre point on the underside.
- Production date
- 5thC BC-4thC BC
Diameter: 8.50 - 8.60 centimetres (at the rim)
Diameter: 3.70 centimetres (at the base)
Height: 13 centimetres (base to rim)
Height: 3.20 centimetres (plain neck)
Height: 8.50 centimetres (ribbed body)
Weight: 370 grammes
Width: 11.50 centimetres
Depth: 9.50 centimetres
Volume: 420 millilitres
- Curator's comments
- Vickers & Gill (1994, p. 178) comment on traces of a Samian-red colour staining on the foot and "a larger patch inside" which were observed by Vickers, and cited by them as possible evidence of an ancient "tarnish film". This is incorrect, but is simply the result of the natural tarnishing of the gold. The object was sent for moulding by Mr David Giles from 18 March and 7 July 1981 (WAA, 'Objects to Lab' book).
A technical report on this piece was made by Barbara Ambruster (non-BM) as follows:
This jar with animal-shaped handle is cast in the lost wax technique and reveals a high standard of craftsmanship. The wax model was fashioned by using rotary motion. At the bottom of this gold vessel a central point indicates where it was fixed on the turning spindle of a lathe. For manufacturing this hollow object, a clay core was first worked on the axes of the lathe, using cutting tools such as scrapers, chisels or other kinds of blade. Then after drying the clay core, a thin layer of wax was applied and worked on the lathe. The jug's outer shape with parallel ribs reflects this way of preparing a perfectly cylindrical wax model using a rotating spindle. The inner surface still bears traces of the rough metal surface of the cast. The bottom is smooth and polished but the turning point of the lathe can still be seen. After the body of the jug has been cast by the lost wax method, the separately cast handle with polygonal section and a lion's head was attached. The lion's head was fixed by soldering, and the lower part was riveted. The handle was cast by the lost wax technique and details of the decoration were then executed with chasing tools.
- On display (G52/dc3)
- Exhibition history
2018 May-Sep, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Museum of History, An Age of Luxury
2006 7 Mar-11 Jun, Barcelona, Fundacion La Caixa, 'L'imperi Oblidat'
2005-2006 Sept-Jan, London, BM, 'Forgotten Empire'
1995-2005 17 Nov-Aug BM, G52/IRAN
1994 16 Jun-23 Dec, BM, G49/IRAN/27
1989 Temporary display, BM, Room 35 (Hinton St Mary mosaic staircase)
1975-ca 1990 Jul- BM, Iranian Room [IR], OT case, no.17
1931-ca 1939 BM, Room 20: Persian Room
1923-1931 BM, King Edward VII Building: Franks Display
1900- BM, Gold Ornament Room
- Acquisition date
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Other BM number: OT 17 (Other reg.no)