The Multiple Lives of a Sasanian Silver Plate

This project investigates a curious Sasanian silver plate in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The base, foot, and most of the raised decoration of the hunting plate are original Sasanian silver; however, six pieces– most noticeably the head of the king and the horse– are later modifications. My research thus far has led me to believe that these modifications were made in late 19th- or early 20th-century imperial Russia.

I am collaborating with Met objects conservator Jean-Francois de Laperouse to reevaluate this plate with the aim of illuminating the multifaceted lives of this object through art historical studies, provenance research, and technical and scientific analyses. The modification pieces were not an attempt to deceive, but come from a distinct historical moment when it was deemed appropriate to restore objects for a particular aesthetic preference, in this case transforming an archaeological object into a display-worthy art object.