The Warren Cup

Michael got me this booklet for Valentine’s day. It’s a small study on the beautiful roman goblet that was bought by Ned Warren in 1911. Ned Warren was a major benefactor of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and an important collector of antiquities. After his death, the cup couldn’t be sold anywhere for years because of the scenes of gay sex, and the British Museum only finally purchased it in 1999 (after passing on it at least once) for £1.8 Million. The scenes aren’t unique, and these are are other glass and pottery cups with very similar designs. Given the subject matter and the it’s age (5-15 AD) the cup has done well to survive being melted down for scrap. The figures on the cup are greek, possibly designed to be more exotic for the romans that would have used it. The Warren Cup on Wikipedia.

As I write, Michael’s taking his Mum to the British Museum  to see the Book of the Dead exhibition.

  • Michae

    It’s a good little book. I like the balance summarised by the closing sentence:

    “While we continue to ponder all of these issues, […], we should not lose sight of the extraordinary beauty and consummate artistry of this singular masterpiece of Roman art.”