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Cup with a Gazelle

7th century

Soghdian silver Diam 19 cm

This lobe-shaped cup in the form of a twelve-petalled flower is typical of Soghdian silver. In the centre is a medallion with a gazelle lying before a tree. The design is reminiscent of the reliefs on Sassanian vessels, but its style has nothing in common with Sassanian tradition. As it rises to its feet, the gazelle's complex yet natural movements, revealing its powerful, taut body with slender but strong legs, combined with the curved lines that are an integral part of the composition and with the tight spirals of the plant shoots, all create an impression of power and lightness.

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