The Barber Cup by Unknown Artist

A one-handled fluorspar cup with rich purple and green veining.


13.5 x 9.5 cm
Art Fund grant:
£50,000 ( Total: £150,000)
Acquired in:
Charles Ede

It is decorated with a low relief frieze of vine leaves, grapes and tendrils and a bearded head, presumably Dionysus or one of his companions, in higher relief under the handle. Roman fluorspar vessels and extremely rare now, and were so in antiquity too. Fluorspar rarely occured in pieces large enough to make vessels. It seems probable that this cup was found together with the Crawford Fluorspar Cup which the Art Fund purchased in 1971 to present to the British Museum in honour of the Chairman, Lord Balcarres (see Review number 2407).


Probably found on the border between Turkey and Syria in 1918-1919; Baron Adolphe Stoclet, Paris 1920's; Gallerie Koehler, 2003; Charles Ede Ltd.

Venue details

British Museum Great Russell Street, LONDON London WC1B 3DG 020 7323 8299

Entry details

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