Plate with Banquet Scene under a Tree

  • Sasanian period
  • 4-6c
  • Gilded silver
  • H-4.7 D-21.7 W-21.6
Plate with Banquet Scene under a Tree

Sprouting from a holy sea, flowers, leaves and a wealth of various kinds of fruit hang from the drooping branches of a sacred tree, evoking a world of abundance. In the roots of this large auspicious tree a king and queen, or perhaps the first man and woman, enjoy a banquet. Strains of beautiful music float out of the tree-top where we can spot the musicians. This is the paradise of Iranian myth. Protecting this is a rooster, the embodiment of a deity banishing darkness, keeping watch as he eats grapes.
This holy world is an image of eternal life. Though dynasties and creeds may change, the undying paradise remains deep in people's hearts.