Ladle with lions

  • Achaemenid period
  • 5th - 4th centuries B.C.
  • Silver
  • H-1.8 D-6 W-25
Catalogue Entry(Bac#035)

5th‐4th century B.C.
L. 25.0 cm, Ladle: Dia. 6.0 cm, H. 1.8 cm, Weight, 164.0 g
This ladle is part of the same group of utensils as the work shown at cat. No. 34. The cup section formed from a beaten sheet of silver was then joined to a cast handle form. The end of the handle is decorated with a circular form made up of two lions facing each other with their forelegs meeting. Both lions turn their heads away from these joined forelegs, and their haunches show the feather-like hair definition common to Achaemenid period arts. This motif is also incised on the haunches of the bull at cat. No. 60. The handle is incised with an astragalus motif, and a lion-griffin head has been attached at the point of connection between cup and handle. The head is shown holding the cup in its mouth. The facing lion motif used on the circular decoration at the end of the ladle handle had long been used as a motif in both Greek and Persian arts.
Both cat. Nos. 34 and 35 are part of a set of utensils consisting of three bowls, two rhyta, a ladle and a pitcher. Cat. No. 34 weighs 280 sigloi in the Achaemenid period silver weight system, and thus the other two bowls would have had a combined weight of 500 sigloi. Further, cat. No. 35's weight equals 30 sigloi, and thus we can see that the overall weight of this set of utensils would have been 1,010 sigloi. [reffered from Matha L. Carter "Preliminary notes on seven Achaemenid silver objects in the Miho Museum" in Studia Iranica Tome 30-2001-fascicule 2]