Achaemenid silver applique depicting a griffin



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A sheet silver clothing applique decorated with a fine repousse and engraved figure of a griffin.

Courtly costumes in the Achaemenid era were often decorated with precious metal appliques such as this. These emblems were part of the public display of the vast wealth of the most powerful court on the globe until the downfall of Darius III at the hands of Alexander the Great.

Achaemenid, 5th or 4th Century BC

10.5 cms diameter

Losses as shown. The silhouette of the figure was partially cut out in antiquity, presumably so that the applique would flex when worn

Ex. private collection, UK; acquired in 1981.

For comparable gold examples of Achaemenid costume appliques, now in the British Museum, please see: