Exquisite and Rare Achaemenid Empire Bronze Cup with Hunting Scene

£ 1,000.00

An exquisite and rare Achaemenid Empire cup, formed from a single hammered sheet of bronze. The cup features a hemispherical body, a slightly flaring, cylindrical neck and wide, everted rim and appears delicately decorated to the body with the traditional Persian floral-type design, rendered in repousse technique. The base of the vessel features a rosette also rendered in repousse technique. Further enrichments include a magnificent incised frieze to the cup’s neck, portraying a hunting scene between two felines and two ibexes. The animals facial and anatomical features are rendered in a naturalistic manner, with incised details emphasising the dynamicity and pathos of the scene.

Date: Circa 6th – 4th century BC
Condition: Extremely fine and rare, mounded on a custom-made stand for display. The vessel displays a beautiful dark olive-green patina with some areas of corrosion. The incised details are still perfectly readable.


The Achaemenid Empire was famous in Antiquity for its richness of gold, precious stones and metals. Harmless bowls and cups with everted and wide rims have been recovered thought the Achaemenid Empire and beyond, evolving from 1st millennium BC bowls used in ancient Iran. Such vessels would have been modelled in different types of metal, such as bronze and silver, and were usually used to drink wine. Decorative motives included geometrical and floral patterns, mythological scenes and procession of animals. Hunting scenes between felines and ibexes were a popular decorative motif on Near Eastern metal vessels, with similar examples tracing back to the 1st millennium BC.

Weight 57.4 g
Dimensions W 7 x H 5.7 cm



Reference: For a similar item, The Metropolitan Museum, item 51.114.

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