Category Archives: Islamic Art

Hair Combs from the Parthian and Sasanian Empires of Ancient Persia

The Parthian Empire existed in Ancient Persia from 247 BC – 224 AD. It is also called the Arsacid Empire after Arsaces I of Parthia, the Parni tribal leader who conquered what is now, modern-day Iran’s northeast region. At its height, the Parthian Empire stretched from the Euphrates in south-eastern Turkey to eastern Iran. Because its territory included the Silk Road trade route between the Roman Empire and the Han Empire of China, the Empire became a center of world commerce.

It was succeeded by the Sassanid Empire (224-651 AD), which was considered to be equal in power to Rome. The Sassanids also invented the word, “Eran,” which later became Iran. It was the last pre-Islamic Persian empire.

Its art was multicultural, encompassing Persian, Ancient Greek, and regional traditions. These two Parthian pieces, a hair comb and pin, come from the Reza-Abassi Museum in Iran. The jewels are carnelians.

On this gold coin, you can see the Sassanid Emperor Shapur II wearing a crown.

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For more scholarly research, please examine

The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Persia: New Light on the Parthian and Sasanian Empires

Forgotten Empire: The World of Ancient Persia

Decline and Fall of the Sasanian Empire: The Sasanian-Parthian Confederacy and the Arab Conquest of Iran

Islamic Art

This gilded, enameled turban ornament is from 19th Century Persia. On the front, the central panel depicts foliage and is surrounded by diamonds. The plumed crown has rubies, emeralds, and is bordered in blue enamel, fringed with pearls. The reverse side is enameled in green, blue, pink, and gold, and also fringed with pearls and…Continue Reading