Two double cups

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Two double cups

Roman, first century A.D.

Height 4 1/8 inches (105 mm); diameter 3 1/2 inches (89 mm)

Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, before 1913

Item description: 

Each cup consists of an inner liner and an outer casing, which is worked in repoussé. The original silver gilt has largely worn away, and the double handles are missing. The decoration consists of cranes feeding among wheat or sorghum, hunting snakes, a lizard, butterflies, and a grasshopper. On one side of one cup, the birds stand beside poppies.

Although the cups were found in Rome, they are believed to be the work of a Greek craftsman.