- Museum number
Cast copper alloy bearded male figure; solid cast; broken crenellated crown with a pair of ribbons attached at the rear; elaborate jewellery on the chest; hands originally supporting the hilt of a separately cast sword, since broken off; wears a flared decorated tunic over trousers, with a beribboned belt.
- Production date
Height: 18.50 centimetres
Weight: 1431 grammes
Thickness: 3.50 centimetres
Width: 7 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Attributed a 4th century date (Iranian Room label). Compare to examples attributed 3rdC dates in the Louvre (inv. no. AO 22134) and Berlin (I. 3643), both discussed and illustrated by P.O. Harper et al., in 'The Royal Hunter (1978), pp. 88-89, no. 30.
Unpublished Cernuschi catalogue entry
Bronze statuette of a standing king
Said to be from Iran
4th - 5th century
H 18.5, W 7.0, Th 3.5 cm, weight 1431 g
British Museum 1966: 39, pl. XIVb; Pinder-Wilson 1971: no. 103; Barnett & Curtis 1973: 127, pl. LVIII b-c; Philby 1981: 85; Overlaet ed. 1993: 169, no. 27; Collon 1995: 205, fig. 171; Curtis 2000: 83, fig. 98
London, The British Museum, ANE 134382 (1964-6-15,1)
Cast bronze statuette of a bearded standing figure wearing a crenellated crown with a pair of ribbon ties attached to the reverse, trousers beneath a long-sleeved flared knee-length belted tunic decorated down the centre, along the bottom and on the right lower side. The figure is wearing a double-string necklace, a distinctive jewelled chest harness and a pair of belts, the lowermost with a pair of attached plaques and a ribbon tie on either side; both hands originally rested on the pommel and hilt of a separately cast straight sword (now missing) which rested vertically on the ground in front of the legs; crown and legs damaged, sword missing.
Purchased from Mr H. Calman in 1964 but its provenance is unknown. The iconography of this piece, specifically the portrayal of a royal figure with his sword supported vertically between his legs, is well known in Sasanian art. It occurs on monumental rock reliefs in Iran, silver plates, coins, and even terracotta figurines from Merv. This distribution and range implies that the imagery was readily recognisable, irrespective of place. The original intended function of the present object is uncertain but it may have been fixed to something which is why it is broken across the knees. The manufacture of small bronze figures or busts at this period at centres far removed from the sources of metal ore is proven by the excavated discovery of small plaster moulds at the city-site of Veh Ardashir, on the banks of the Tigris opposite the Sasanian capital of Ctesiphon.
- On display (G52/dc7)
- Exhibition history
2006 14 Sept-30 Dec, Paris, Cernuschi Museum, 'Les Perses Sassanides ou les Fastes d'un empire oublié'
2005 29 Jun-2006 8 Jan, BM, G69a, 'Iran before Islam: Religion and Propaganda, AD 224-652'
1995-2005 17 Nov-15 Dec, BM, G52/IRAN/22.
1994 16 Jun-23 Dec, BM, G49/IRAN/22/15.
1993 12 Feb-25 Apr, Belgium, Brussels, Musée Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire, Splendeur des Sassanides / Hofkunst Van des Sassanieden, no.27
1975-1990 Jul-Dec, BM, Iranian Room [IR] case 22, no. 1.
1971 BM, 'Royal Persia: a commemoration of Cyrus the Great and his successors on the occasion of the 2500th anniversary of the founding of the Persian Empire'
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- No deposit book entry recorded or correspondence filed for this object in 1963/64.
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number