The Warren Cup is an ancient Greco-Roman silver drinking cup

The Warren Cup is an ancient Greco-Roman silver drinking cup

In November 1952 Harold W. Parsons, an art historian and one of Warren’s past companions, took responsibility for selling the cup and approached the New York collector Walter Baker. In February 1953 it was posted by Thomas to Walter Baker, however US Customs impounded the box requiring a decision from Washington as to whether to admit it or to prohibit it as pornography. It was refused entry to the US on that basis and it took until October 1954 to be returned to the UK, by which time Thomas had died. Then, Thomas’s widow sold the cup to the dealer John K. Hewett. Hewett offered the cup to Denys Haynes, Keeper of the Greek and Roman Department at the British Museum who then sought an opinion from his friend Lord Crawford, a Trustee of the Museum. However, they declined to take it as they thought that they would never persuade the Museum’s Trustees who were chaired by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The cup was sold in 1966 by a private collector for £6,000. It then found its way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (yep! in America) but they then sold to a British private collector. This collector then sold it to the British Museum, in 1999 for £1.8 million.

In November 1952 Harold W. Parsons, an art historian and one of Warren’s past companions, took responsibility for selling the cup and approached the New York collector Walter Baker. In February 1953 it was posted by Thomas to Walter Baker, however US Customs impounded the box requiring a decision from Washington as to whether to admit it or to prohibit it as pornography. It was refused entry to the US on that basis and it took until October 1954 to be returned to the UK, by which time Thomas had died. Then, Thomas’s widow sold the cup to the dealer John K. Hewett. Hewett offered the cup to Denys Haynes, Keeper of the Greek and Roman Department at the British Museum who then sought an opinion from his friend Lord Crawford, a Trustee of the Museum. However, they declined to take it as they thought that they would never persuade the Museum’s Trustees who were chaired by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The cup was sold in 1966 by a private collector for £6,000. It then found its way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (yep! in America) but they then sold to a British private collector. This collector then sold it to the British Museum, in 1999 for £1.8 million.

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