The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of March 2, 2024

Libation Cup

Libation Cup

c. 235–185 BCE
(322–185 BCE)–Shunga period (185–78 BCE)
Diameter: 7 cm (2 3/4 in.); Overall: 6 cm (2 3/8 in.)

Did You Know?

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


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.
  • ?-2001
    (Bobhicitta, New York, NY, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art)
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Cleveland Museum of Art, “Recent Acquisitions Press Release,” April 4, 2001, Cleveland Museum of Art Archives.
    Czuma, Stanislaw. “Two Vessels from Ancient India,” The Cleveland Museum of Art Members Magazine (December 2001): 6-7 Mentioned and Reproduced: p. 7
    “Art of Asia Acquired by North American Museums, 2000-2001.” Archives of Asian Art, vol. 53, 2002, pp. 111–125. Mentioned and Reproduced: fig. 8, p. 113 20111308
  • {{cite web|title=Libation Cup|url=false|author=|year=c. 235–185 BCE|access-date=02 March 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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