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Libation Cup

Libation Cup

c. 235-185 BC

Bronze, lost wax technique

Diameter: 7 cm (2 3/4 in.); Overall: 6 cm (2 3/8 in.)

Dudley P. Allen Fund 2001.2

Fun Fact

The tree carved into the cup is of the same species as the Bodhi tree, under which the Buddha reached enlightenment.

Description

The remarkably clear, tiny carvings in an uninterrupted frieze around the lower section include one sacred palm tree and one fig tree (ficus religiosa) that divide the space into two main scenes. One features female musicians, the other has two chariots, each drawn by a pair of galloping horses. Bulls, birds, and flowers fill the background spaces. This cup is from a group found in an area with close links to Indo-Greek kingdoms, and the chariots and framing motifs reveal knowledge of Hellenistic art.

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