Gold goblet


British Museum

British Museum

This small stemmed goblet of sheet gold is of unknown provenance but is contemporary with the Shaft Graves at Mycenae. These graves were discovered by Heinrich Schliemann in 1876. Schliemann went to Mycenae in search of the burial place of the legendary king Agamemnon and his followers, killed, according to the stories, on their victorious return from Troy. The graves he found, which belonged to the earliest phase of Mycenaean culture (1600-1450 BC), were fabulously wealthy and were rich in vessels of gold and silver. This goblet may also have been buried in a rich tomb somewhere in the Mycenaean world. Like the Shaft Grave vessels it shows influences in style and manufacture both from Minoan Crete and from Mycenaean Greece. It may have been made by a Cretan craftsman working on the Greek mainland for a rich patron. At this time the wealth of Mycenaean Greece was increasing, and Mycenae itself was earning its Homeric description as 'rich in gold'.

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  • Title: Gold goblet
  • Date Created: -1500/-1500
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 7.10cm; Diameter: 10.40cm; Weight: 1108.00grains
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Registration number: 1900,0727.1
  • Period/culture: Mycenaean
  • Material: gold
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Purchased from Rollin & Feuardent. Previous owner/ex-collection Forman


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