Iranian luxury at the Freer and Sackler Galleries

The Freer and Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. are hosting the exhibit "Feast Your Eyes" on Ancient Iranian Luxury Metalwork beginning February 4, 2012. The exhibit "explores the beauty, role and function of luxury metalwork in ancient Iran."

"Feast Your Eyes," which will be installed in the connecting gallery between the two museums, will include "finely hammered bowls, cups, plates, ewers and bottles" from the 6th century B.C.E. through the 7th century C.E., and will feature "a silver-gilt royal hunting plate with the portrait of Shapur II (309-379 C.E.), a Sasanian ruler recognizable by his distinctive crown. Fashioned out of 19 separate components, the plate is also one of the earliest Sasanian examples to depict a king hunting-one of the most enduring royal images from the ancient Near East."