Afghanistan Rediscovered: a Cantharus

One of the treasures of the new Islamic galleries at the V&A is a rock cut vessel. I thought that it might be interesting to point out that this is a direct continuation via the Sassanians of earlier vessels.

For example, this Cantharus was found at Begram in Afghanistan, and was recently on show at the Guimet. It's in preety good condition considering how fragile rock crystal is - it survived both burial and the Taliban.

Begram, field II, room 13
1st century
Carved rock crystal with traces of gold leaf
Ht. 9.0 cm ; Ø 14.45 cm
Musée national d’Afghanistan – MK 04.1.36

Photo © Thierry Ollivier / musée Guimet

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