Silver cup

Mycenaean, 1400-1300 BC
From Tomb 92, Enkomi, Cyprus

A typically Aegean vessel that was in wide demand

This type of straight-sided cup with a single spool-shaped handle is called a Vapheio cup. It is named after two gold cups found buried with a Mycenaean chieftain in a tholos tomb at Vapheio in Laconia. Both cups were decorated in repoussé with scenes of bull-capture.

Such vessels were clearly prized at home on the Greek mainland and were also treasured items of trade and gift exchange. This cup, although made in Greece, was found in a tomb at the site of Enkomi on Cyprus. Very large examples are seen carried by Aegeans in tribute scenes on Egyptian wall-paintings, such as those on a wall of the tomb of Senmut, steward of Amun under Queen Hatshepsut (1492-1479 BC). The popularity of this Aegean form of vessel was therefore widespread. Examples have usually been preserved in tombs, but there can be no doubt that large numbers of precious vessels have been lost through melting down and reuse of the metal.

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More information


R. Higgins, The Greek Bronze Age (London, The British Museum Press, 1977)

R.A. Higgins, Minoan and Mycenean art, new revised edition (London, Thames & Hudson, 1997)

S. Hood, The arts in prehistoric Greece (Penguin, 1978)


Height: 6.900 cm
Diameter: 10.900 cm

Museum number

GR 1897.4-1.506 (Jewellery 821)


Miss E.T. Turner Bequest excavations


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