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Home > Auctions > 30th November 2021 > Large Roman Silver-Gilt Skyphos

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LOT 0080

GBP (£) 15,000 - 20,000
EUR (€) 17,640 - 23,520
USD ($) 19,980 - 26,640

Sold for (Inc. bp): £16,510

Large Roman Silver-Gilt Skyphos

1st century BC-1st century AD

A two-handled cup with the body raised from a single sheet of silver resting on a flared foot, the thickened rim decorated with a gilt band of ovules with another gilt decorative band of geometric motifs beneath; two rounded handles with thumb-pads, each with a magnificent interlace foliage beneath. 269 grams, 19.1cm (7 1/2"). Fine condition.

Property of a gentleman; formerly acquired on the Germany art market in 1996; formerly in a private German collection since the 1980s; accompanied by a technical examination report, written by Pieter Meyers of Los Angeles, California, dated 16 March 2018, and an archaeological expertise by Dr Raffaele D’Amato; this lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate number no.10939-181736.

Cf. for a beautiful similarly decorated example from the Boscoreale treasure, in Bianchi Bandinelli, R., Roma, l’arte romana nel centro del potere, Milano, 1969, fig.227.

The Boscoreale cup, today at the Louvre, represents the immediate and direct reference model for our cup. Cicero refers to such beautiful cups when he spoke of the scyphi collected by the Sicilian Greeks from the avid agents of the unscrupulous Praetor Verres (Cicero in Verre II, IV,14). Nero had his personal collection of scyphi omerici, probably of the same category.