A Very Important Zoroastrian or Parsi Repousse Silver Fire Vessel (Afringanyu) in the shape of a Trophy Cup 19th Century, Iran, made by the Master Mahmoud Al Shirazi.

Identification Number: 70


According to the Zoroastrian or Parsi faith, fire is the symbol of Asha, which can be interpreted to mean World or Divine Order, Truth or Right. Fire is the central icon or divine image-symbol of the Zoroastrian faith. During Jashan and other Zoroastrian ceremonies a fire urn (afringanyu) is filled with fine grey ash that helps maintain the fire placed in a round metal plate on top of the urn.

Our present lot is of a very high quality craftsmanship made and signed by the very famous Master Mahmoud Al Shirazi and comes in the traditional shape of a Parsi afringanyu. The upper part has been decorated with warriors on horsebacks in combat position holding shields, swords and spears. This particular piece is quite rare in that it is made of pure silver whereas the majority of similar pieces are made of what is so-called “German silver”, which is a mixture of different metals. It has two beautiful large handles decorated with scrolls and palmettes.

The base of the urn is decorated with various floral and mythical scenes taken from ancient Persepolis.
The signature has been engraved at the base in Arabic letters.

For similar examples, please see A Zoroastrian Tapestry edited by Pheroza J. Godrej and Firoza Punthakey Mistree, illustrations, 3, p.23, 2, p.302, 1, p.384, 4a, p.387, 13, p.396.

Condition: Excellent

Dimensions: Height 30 cm
Width 32 cm (including handles), 18cm (without handles)
Diameter of the base 14.5 cm