Letter | Published:

The Enkomi Silver Cup

Naturevolume 187page1052 (1960) | Download Citation

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Abstract

THAT the Enkomi silver cup exhibits many fascinating points of technique no one will deny. The suggestion that the black is derived from an inlay of copper is interesting, especially coming from the Department of Mineralogy of the British Museum (Natural History), and it is clear that such a copper-inlay technique would be likely to facilitate manufacture ; but, in the absence of the inlays, its presence would be difficult and might even be impossible to prove. The cap at the extremity of the ‘wish-bone’ handle, referred to above, was scraped and the freshly exposed surface appeared coppery, but whether due to inlay or to staining of the silver alloy (that is, by niello) was not determined. Dr. Claringbull, who examined scrapings by spectrograph, could detect silver, copper and gold only. It is admitted that to obtain a representative sample of the black material in question from the bowl, without causing damage, was found to be most difficult. A further examination by X-ray diffraction of a second tiny specimen that was submitted yielded nothing fresh.

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  1. International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property, Rome

    • HAROLD J. PLENDERLEITH

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https://doi.org/10.1038/1871052a0

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