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Collection of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

Roundel, 6th–7th century

type: Roundel

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Medallion with polychrome figures on a red ground. In the center field, a haloed rider on a prancing horse carries a staff or scepter topped with a trefoil, and holds a ring. A lion below looks back over his shoulder. Two additional figures, one at each side, wear spotted green clothing. The rider is in pink with a flowing blue cape. Inner border of polychrome connected flower heads on a natural ground; outer border of polychrome step pattern on dark blue ground. The image is said to represent the emperor with two Persian prisoners, a reference to the victory of Heraclius (617 - 641) over the Persians in 627.


John Pierpont Morgan