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Cream-colored, handle-less cup with faint patches of green, rows of small pinecone and flower decorations, gold-colored lip, and round foot

This pale cream-colored cup does not have a handle and is decorated on the sides with five horizontal rows of small, low relief pinecones. Each pinecone is surrounded by an arch and has a tiny flower or rosette beneath it, and these decorations are all slightly darkened. There are areas on the sides of the cup showing faint remnants of green pigment. The cup widens slightly as it reaches the rim. Both the rim and the round foot have two ridges and are a deeper gold color than the rest of the cup.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Chalice with Pinecone Pattern
Work Type
1st century CE
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Asia, Anatolia
Roman Imperial period, Early
Persistent Link


Level 3, Room 3700, Ancient Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Art, Roman Art
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Physical Descriptions

Terracotta, lead glaze
12 x 15.2 cm (4 3/4 x 6 in.)


Recorded Ownership History
Charles Dikran Kelekian Ancient Art, New York City, since the 1950s; acquired by the Department of the Classics, Harvard University, for the Alice Corinne McDaniel Collection, 1978; transfer to the Harvard Art Museum, 2008.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Transfer from the Alice Corinne McDaniel Collection, Department of the Classics, Harvard University
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art

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This mold-made, relief ware vessel has a vitreous lead glaze. The low, broad foot has molded edges and a deep central concavity underneath. The extremely truncated stem supports the deep, rounded body with a broad mouth. The rim is offset by molding.

Five rows of small pine cones in relief, each framed by an arch, ring the vessel. A small granulated rosette fills each 'spandrel' between arches.

The glaze has decayed to a semi-irridescent pale pinkish-yellow on vessel's exterior, although small green patches provide some insight into its original color. The interior and rim are coated with a well-preserved yellow-brown glaze.

Exhibition History

  • Roman Gallery Installation (long-term), Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/16/1999 - 01/20/2008
  • Re-View: Arts of India & the Islamic Lands, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 04/26/2008 - 06/01/2013
  • 32Q: 3700 Roman, Harvard Art Museums, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

  • Google Art Project

Verification Level

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at