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Cup with Centaurs: the craft of Roman silverwork

This video recreates how an ornate silver cup from ancient Rome, dating back to the first century, A.D., was originally made.

The ‘Cup with Centaurs’ had been dedicated to the Gallo-Roman god Mercury, and was discovered by a French farmer in 1830, as part of a spectacular hoard of gilt-silver statuettes and vessels, known today as the Berthouville Treasure.

Ancient Roman silversmiths developed their craft to the highest levels of refinement and beauty. Applying fire and basic tools to the shaping of precious metals, it’s extraordinary to consider how many of their sophisticated techniques are still used today.

The cup is part of the royal collections of the Cabinet des Médailles at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris.

View the original video here.

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