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Imperial Sasanid Coins in the Royal Entourage of “Forgotten Empire"




10 September 2005


While the high profile exhibition of “Forgotten Empire: The World of Ancient Persia” is a hit at the headlines, an exhibition of coins, vessels, jewelries, and seals belonging to Sassanid era (224 to 651 AD) and pictures of reliefs of that era are put on display at the British museum as well.

Vesta Sarkhosh who is in charge of Iranian-Islamic coins department at the British Museum, explained that the exhibition is aimed at demonstrating how influential the art and culture of Sassanid era was on later historical periods. “By gathering these artifacts, we are trying to study the influence of Sassanid arts and symbols on different historical eras proceeding the Sassanid dynasty, through pointing out the elements in conformity with those of Sassanids,” added she.

Photographs of Sassanid reliefs which are taken by Professor Georgia Herman, an expert of ancient reliefs of that era, are put on display at this exhibition as well.

Selecting some of these photos and comparing their similarities with images on the vessels and coins of Sassanid kings, Sarkhosh has tried to make a comparison on the artistic characteristics of their eras.

Interestingly, some coins belonging to Qajar dynasty (1796 to 1925) are exhibited in a showcase at the same gallery, where Sassanid artifacts are put on display, about which Sarkhosh explained, “We witness an inclination and a return towards Sassanid art during Qajar dynasty. Now, using these pictures, the similarities and impact of Sassanid arts are revealed. The bank notes printed in Pahlavi dynasty are another example of this impact and the conformity of artistic symbols of Pahlavi dynasty with those of the Sassanids.”




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