- Museum number
- Series: Oxus Treasure
Silver horse-harness ornament or shield-boss: perforated gilded silver disc showing a hunting scene framed by a guilloche border; parcel-gilt, the gilding executed by cutting thin plates of thin gold to the desired contour, and lapping them over the embossed figures; in the centre is a boss pierced by 5 equally spaced holes, and around the edge is a raised guilloche border; in the area enclosed between are represented three mounted hunters galloping in pursuit of game; the figures are wearing Persian dress of a bashlik, girded tunic and trousers, the patterns on the garments being indicated by punched dots and parallel or hatched lines; they are riding horses with decorated saddle-cloths fringed at the back, but without stirrups; the horse's tails are tied into bows; the first rider throws a spear at a pair of stags, one of which has already been hit as a broken spear is sticking in its back; a second rider pursues a pair of ibexes, one of which also has a broken spear in its back; a third, riding in the opposite direction, aims an arrow at a hare before his horse's hooves; in two cases, a projection behind the waist suggests the end of a bow-case (gorytus); this object may have been a shield boss or a horse harness fitting. In front of the ibexes is a hare.
- Production date
- 4thC BC (?)
Diameter: 0.25 centimetres (of perforations)
Diameter: 9.80 centimetres
Height: 0.50 centimetres
Weight: 29 grammes
- Curator's comments
- Dalton pointed out that the figure-of-eight or waisted-shield types at Persepolis are sometimes represented with similar circular fittings in the centre (Dalton 1964: fig. 47), but the similarities are not close. Instead, the Persepolis representations are best paralleled by a circular bronze disc from Samos (Jantzen 1972: 60, pl. 56 B 1681). So it is more likely that this piece is a harness ornament, or phalera, in which case the central holes could be for attachment of a tassel, or to secure the disc to harness.
- On display (G52/dc3)
- Exhibition history
2012 24 May-30 Sep, London, BM, 'The horse: from Arabia to Royal Ascot'
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/29b
1994 16 Jun-23 Dec, BM, G49/IRAN/29b
1989 BM, Room 35 (Hinton St Mary mosaic staircase)
1975-ca 1990 Jul-, BM, Iranian Room [IR], OT case
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
Miscellaneous number: OT 24 (catalogue no)