Object Image

Fragment of a Frieze with Addorsed Lions

This piece and objects 18.112 and 37.55 speak to two “transformation” trends of the early twentieth century: the “improvement” (if not forging) of artifacts, and the application of a limited number of geographical attributions (galvanized by a discovery and then standardized in the trade). This frieze and 18.112 are said to have come from Rayy, a claim made about many artifacts traded at the time. Spontaneous digs and organized, legal commercial excavations were carried out on the site from the nineteenth century, but their details went undocumented. In this case, comparison with artifacts unearthed in scientific excavations in the 1930s substantiates the attribution to Rayy.

Credit: Gift of H ...
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12th century
Gypsum plaster; molded
15.2 x 22.9cm
Image and text © Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019

Where you'll find this

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Permanent collection