From the third through the seventh centuries, when representatives of the surrounding countries paid tribute to the king of Sassanid Persia, cut-glass bowls such as this example were used as return gifts. While part of its surface has become iridescent through weathering over the centuries, this bowl was originally made of fine quality clear glass with a beautiful ground and uniform hexagonal motifs. It reveals sophisticated skills to which the king's prestige was entrusted. This type of Sassanid glass has been excavated in Armenia, on the shores of the Black Sea, in Xinjian Province, China, and has even been found in Japan's Shōsōin and the tomb believed to be that of Emperor Ankan. Those discoveries attest to the breadth of trade over a millennium ago.