Beaker

Object Details

Title:

Beaker

Artist/Maker:

Unknown

Culture:

Roman

Place:

Cape Krio, Cnidus, Turkey (Place found)

Date:

1st century A.D.

Medium:

Gold

Object Number:

2001.6

Dimensions:

13.7 cm, 0.6562 kg (5 3/8 in., 1.4467 lb.)

See more

See less

This gracefully formed solid gold beaker illustrates the extravagant taste of wealthy Romans. In the classical world, gold represented both divine and secular power, and its display symbolized authority and status.

Distinguished by a subtle convex shape that rises from its small foot and ends with a slightly flared rim, this vessel was clearly made by a highly skilled artisan. A measurement of weight is inscribed on the underside of the beaker’s foot : P II L I, an abbreviation for P[ondo] II, sescuncia I, which equals two pounds one sescuncia, or 24.54 ounces. This differs slightly from the actual weight of the vase, suggesting that it originally had a lid.

The earliest publication of the beaker reports its discovery by sponge-divers at Cape Krio, near the ruins of ancient Knidos (on the coast of south-west Turkey).

Provenance

Found: Cape Krio, Cnidus, Turkey

1906 - 1939

Martine-Marie-Pol de Béhague, comtesse de Béarn, 1870 - 1939 (Paris, France), by inheritance to her nephew, Octave Marie Hubert, 1939.

1939 - 1974

Marquis Octave Marie Hubert de Ganay, French, 1888 - 1974, by inheritance to his son, Jean-Louis Hubert.

1974 - 1987

Marquis Jean-Louis Hubert de Ganay, French, 1922 - 2013 [sold, Antiquites et Objets d'Art, Collection de Martine, Comtesse de Behague provenant de la Succession du Marquis de Ganay, Sotheby's, Monaco, December 5, 1987, lot 53, to Robin Symes.]

1987 - 2001

Robin Symes, Limited (London, England), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001.

Bibliography

Froehner, Wilhelm. Collection de la Comtesse R. de Bearn. Troisieme Cahier. Paris: 1909, pp. 65-66; pl. XIII.

"Les Sept Joyaux de la Collection de Haute Curiosite du Marquis de Ganay." Connaissance des Arts (August 15, 1955), p. 44.

Sotheby's, Monaco. Antiquités et Objets d'Art: Collection de Martine, Comtesse de Béhague provenant de la Succession du Marquis de Ganay. December 5, 1987, lot 52.

Reif, Rita. "Auctions: Old Gold at Sotheby's." New York Times, Late Edition (East Coast) (December 4, 1987), C29.

Chourmouziadis, George Ch. The Gold of the World. Athens: 1999, pp. 132-33; fig. 142.

Robin Symes, Ltd., New York. Bull Leapers to Picasso. Exh. cat., December 6-16, 2000. Unpaged, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection (Los Angeles: 2002), p. 199.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), p. 40, ill.

Mattusch, Carol C., et al., eds. Pompeii and the Roman Villa: Art and Culture around the Bay of Naples, exh. cat. (Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, with Thames & Hudson, 2008), p. 49, fig. 21.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010), p. 206.

William, Dyfri. "A Cantharus from ancient Betar near Jerusalem (the so-called Warren Cup) and Roman Silver Plate." BABesch 90 (2015), p. 170.

Lapatin, Kenneth. Luxus: The Sumptuous Arts of Greece and Rome (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2015), pp. 80, 234, pl. 48.