Cup with ibex and appliques

  • Pre-Achaemenid Period
  • 8th to 6th centuries B.C.
  • 8-6cB.C.
  • Silver, electrum
  • H-13.5 W-15
Cup with an Ibex and appliques

The surface of the cup is so packed with ornament-auspicious lotus buds, palmettes, rosettes and the like-that one might suspect the artist of having kenophobia; it stands upright thanks to the decorative form of the ibex. In Assyria the ibex and lotus flower were felicitous offertory items because they signified the rebirth of the sun. The palmettes and lotus buds have also been worked into the form of a sacred tree, combining all these elements to give the vessel the greatest possible holy symbolism.