Luxury and power at the British Museum

BullionVault is proud to have supported the British Museum's summer 2023 exhibition, Luxury and power: Persia to Greece.

Running from 4 May to 13 August, Luxury and power: Persia to Greece explored how the defeat of the Persian Empire by Athens and its allies in the 5th Century BC confronted Greek soldiers with sumptuous objects of unimaginable wealth.

To many ancient Greeks, this proved the triumph of democratic discipline and restraint over imperial excess and decadence. But while Athens used some of this loot to cast silver ingots and coins for its booming trade routes across the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, the city also adopted and adapted the way that Persian rulers used such luxuries as a political tool, defining status and authority through opulence and extravagance.

Supported by BullionVault and having featured 200 artefacts, Luxury and power: Persia to Greece brought together star loans including the extraordinary Panagyurishte Treasure from Thrace, modern-day Bulgaria, with exquisitely crafted pieces in gold, silver and glass from the British Museum collection.

Why this collection, from that period of history, with these themes, and why now? Adrian Ash, director of research at BullionVault, interviews Jamie Fraser, curator at the British Museum for the ancient Levant and Anatolia and also lead curator of the exhibition.

For information, please go to the British Museum’s exhibition page here.

Luxury and power: Persia to Greece exhibition at the British Museum proudly supported by BullionVault

Gilt silver rhyton with winged griffin, Turkey, 5th century BC. © 2023 The Trustees of the British Museum.