The Warren Cup

Posted on November 8, 2010


Supposedly found in Battir near Jerusalem, the silver Warren Cup now belongs to the British museum. The Roman banquet cup was likely commissioned of Greek craftsmen circa 5-15 AD. The cup has two sides – on one side is a young male couple having sex and lying on drapery with pipes at the side; the other side shows a bearded man and a youth having sex – the youth is on top, holding in his hand a cord suspended from the ceiling with a boy peeking from a doorway on the right and a lyre on the left. The scenes are in low relief and elaborately detailed, and the cup is obviously an expensive conversation piece – although it was made to be used and the worn sections indicate that it was.

The cup is named for Edward Perry “Ned” Warren, the American collector who purchased the cup in 1911.

The Warren Cup has a page on Wikipedia, here, as well as at the British Museum, here. There is also a page on the BBC’s History of the World in 100 Objects pages, here.

Posted in: 1st Century, Art, Roman