The Prince and the Plunder

A book on how Britain took one boy and piles of treasures from Ethiopia

Saint Roumanos’s communion cup

Published / by Andrew Heavens / Leave a Comment

What: A communion cup, said to have belonged to the 5th century saint Roumanos, taken by the British Museum’s expert on the expedition, Richard Rivington Holmes

Where: The British Museum, Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3DG

Provenance: Maqdala referenced at length in the museum’s acquisition notes.

The catalogue entry reads:

“Chalice or communion cup cast in bronze in two parts; bowl and stem with round base. The base of the bowl is soldered to the top of the stem. The round base is decorated with triangular and diamond patterns, some having become irregular holes in the casting process.”

Curator’s comments:

“Said to have belonged to Roumanos, a 5th century saint. ‘From church at Baraka'”

Museum number: Af1868,1001.12
Date: 5thC (?)
Height: 18 cm
Width: 15.4 cm
Depth: 15.4 cm
Previous owner/ex-collection: Sir Richard Rivington Holmes
Acquisition date: 1868

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