Arts of the Hellenized East: Precious Metalwork and Gems of the Pre-Islamic Era


An informative and beautifully produced guide to one of the world’s most spectacular collections of Hellenistic and Islamic silverwork, now available in paperback.


ISBN: 9780500970706 Category:

Martha L. Carter


The al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait, houses one of the world’s most spectacular collections of ancient silver vessels and other objects made of precious metals. Dating from the centuries following Alexander the Great’s conquest of Iran and Bactria in the middle of the 4th century BCE up to the advent of the Islamic era, the beautiful bowls, drinking vessels, platters and other objects in this catalogue suggest that some of the best Hellenistic silverwork was not made in the Greek heartlands, but in this eastern outpost of the Seleucid empire. Martha L. Carter connects these far-flung regions from northern Greece to the Hindu Kush, tracing the common cultural threads that link their diverse geography and people.

The last part of the book, by Prudence O. Harper, deals with an important group of Sasanian silver vessels and gems, and some other rarities produced in the succeeding centuries for Hunnish and Turkic patrons. The catalogue is accompanied by an essay on the technology of ancient silver production by Pieter Meyers, who has performed a number of scientific tests on the objects, including a new metallurgical analysis that may help to identify their geographical origins.

Additional information

Weight 2066 g
Dimensions 21.9 x 27.7 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 1 June 2017
Number of pages 424
Format Paperback / softback
Dimensions 21.9 x 27.7 cm
Weight 2066 g


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Martha L. Carter has taught and curated at institutions including the Cleveland Museum of Art and the University of Wisconsin.