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Exhibit of February 2022: Calyx-cup from Varbitsa

02/2022

Calyx-cup 

Silver 

Height 8.7 cm; Doameter of rim 9.7 cm; W 168.50 g 

Part of the inventory of a stone tomb discovered in 1885 in Chereshka (Troshka) locality near Varbitsa, Shumen region. 

Late 4th – first half of 3rd c. BC 

Deep cup with bipartite body. The lower part is hemispherical and the upper is conical with outturned rim. The underside of the bottom is decorated with gilded double rosette in relief, with eight petals in each layer. Above the rosette – radiating tongue ornaments, with double guilloche between beaded rings on the transition to the neck. Engraved ivy tendril (wreath), with traces of gilding on the neck.  

The inventory of the tomb at Varbitsa suggests a high rank warrior burial. In addition to the weapons and armour, the components of the banquet set, also indicate his aristocratic status. The ceramic askos of a type that is known from other settlements and necropoleis in present-day Northeast Bulgaria dates the burial to the second quarter of the 3rd c. BC. The calyx-cup is probably slightly earlier. A similar vase is known from Thessaly, dated to 300 BC, but without the ivy tendril on the neck. The appearance of the latter could be related to one of the typical motifs of the West Slope style and provides grounds for the suggested date.  

Bibliography: 

Филов 1934: Б. Филов. Надгробните могили при Дуванлий в Пловдивско. София, 1934, 173, № 3, обр. 188 

Венедиков, Герасимов 1973: И. Венедиков, Т. Герасимов. Тракийското изкуство. София, 1973, № 144, ил. 144. 

Catalogue Montréal 1987: L’Or des cavaliers thraces, Trésors de Bulgarie. Montréal, Palais de la Civilisation, 30 mai – 4 octobre, 1987, No 365. 

Stoyanov 2007: T. Stoyanov. Late Classical and Early Hellenistic Pottery Imitations of Metal Tableware from Thrace. – In: Thrace in the Greco-Roman world. Proceedings of the 10th international Congress of Thracology. Komotini-Alexandroupolis 18-23 October 2005. Athens, 2007, 561, Fig. 2a.8. 

Стоянов 2017: Т. Стоянов. Среброто в сервизите за пиене в Тракия. – В: Среброто на траките. Национален археологически музей. Каталози, том VІІ. София, 2017. 54, № 46.