Inscribed Antelope Rhyton
Inscribed Antelope Rhyton
6th - 7th Century A.D.
H: 23 x W: 5 x L: 28.5 cm
The rhyton consists of three major sections: the head, front section of the body and rear section of the body. Each section is hammered from one piece of silver. The design is by repoussé and chasing. The head also contains the following added parts each made of hammered silver: two ears, two horns and two bells attached from the points of the horns with wire hoops. Ears and horns extend for some distance into the head of the antelope attached to the head by solder. The front part of the body contains a spout, located between the front knees. There is a punched inscription in Middle Persian on the right rear haunch, which gives the name and weight of the vessel. It is likely the case that this silver vessel was originally commissioned in honour of a Sasanian king.
Sasanian Silver: Late Antique and Early Mediaeval Arts of Luxury from Iran, The University of Michigan Museum of Art, Michigan, USA, August – September 1967.
Sasanian Silver: Late Antique and Early Mediaeval Arts of Luxury from Iran, The University of Michigan Museum of Art, Michigan, USA, 1967, p132, cat. 49.
David Aaron Ltd, 2022, No. 10.
With J.J. Klejman Gallery, New York, from at least 1967.
Private Collection of Faith-Dorian Wright (1934-2016) and Martin Wright (1930-2018), New York, acquired from the above on 22nd September 1971.
ALR: S00207447, with IADAA certificate, this item has been checked against the Interpol database.
John Jacob Klejman (1906-1995) was a Polish-born art dealer who served as an historical bridge between the European art world as it existed before the Second World War and the budding art market in prosperous post-war America. Klejman was widely considered one of the most important New York dealers of his day, and one of the most influential figures in developing American appreciation of African art. From a Jewish family in Warsaw, he made his business selling antique European decorative arts before WWII. Surviving the horrors of the war, Klejman and his family were displaced and ultimately settled in New York. He found that he was able to acquire African art of high quality at relatively reasonable prices in both Europe and in New York, and thus he began to rebuild his business and capitalised on the art world’s growing enthusiasm for arts of world cultures. In the late 1950s, Klejman opened his New York gallery at 982 Madison Avenue in the Parke-Bernet building. Many great American collectors of the 20th century had their first exposure to African Art there, with the benefit of Klejman's famously refined taste and intuition for quality. He also handled many important ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern antiquities which would later end up in famous private and public institutions.
The Wrights were pioneer collectors of Oceanic art and pieces from their collection form the core of multiple museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Israel Museum. Faith-Dorian Wright (1934-2016) was an accomplished artist born in New York City whose own work was influenced by African artists’ use of organic materials and she mixed acrylics with charcoal, chalk, ochre and pigments from roots and leaves. Martin Wright (1930-2018) was a successful lawyer and businessman. The collection they built together was largely formed in the 1960s and ‘70s and many of the early acquisitions came from New York dealer J. J. Klejman.