On October 2 in London, Bonhams sells a plate of 24 cm in diameter executed over a thin circular foot. This piece weighing 865 g is estimated £ 220K, lot 142. By comparing the styles, it is estimated to have been made about 1400 years ago with no better defined date, probably in Constantinople.
The theme is pagan: it is the story of the return of Odysseus disguised as a beggar traveler who is recognized by his dog Argus. The mythic dimension is reinforced by the figure of the goddess Athena in arms who looks down through the clouds.
Such pagan illustration is not unusual at that time although it was already deep in the Christian era. It marks the appropriation by a religion of the best virtues of neighboring civilizations, as indeed the Buddhists were also doing in their own area of influence. Under the foot of the plate, a head made in embossed silver is probably Alexander's.
I recently discussed a plate three centuries older showing a Sasanian royal hunt, which was sold for £ 182K including premium by Bonhams on April 3, 2014. Similar in diameter and a little less heavy, it however had a further refinement: the salient parts of the scene were gilt.