Silver with gilt, incised, and chased decoration
Diameter: 30.5 cm (12 in.)
Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1972.39
The footed tray, a foreign shape, is decorated with fantastic creatures frolicking among grapevines, a motif borrowed from Roman art.
Precious Sassanian and Central Asian metalwork had been imported to China as early as the 4th and 5th centuries as a result of wars and prosperous trade along the Silk Road. With the influx of foreign metalworkers to cosmopolitan Tang China, the techniques of sheet metalworking were introduced to the Chinese. This silver vessel demonstrates the effects of such east-west exchanges along the Silk Road. Its decoration with intricate gilt, incised and chased designs against a ring-punched ground is of a particularly high standard.
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