Details This replica Grape cup is based on a find from the Wilsford G7 Bronze Age barrow from the greater Stonehenge landscape. This site is of huge archaeological importance consists of 19 round barrows that make up a major cemetery. This lovely little cup is just one of the many treasures that have been unearthed during excavations of this ancient landscape.
The making of this cup is a real labour of love with six rings of beads running around the body of the pot, each row consisting of around 26 balls of clay, making up over 150 beads in total. It takes great care to apply the beads to the surface of the pot and creates a vessel that is elaborate and very tactile. The finished article really is beautiful to hold.
The pot also features a large number of holes that have been pierced in the spaces between the clay beads. These holes would create good air circulation, making it likely that the pot was used to contain something that required ventilation. Such as fire perhaps. But interestingly there has been very little, or no, attempt to clean up the internal surface of the pot making it unlikely that these vessels were used for lighting purposes, as the rough surface stops light from easily passing through the holes.
Often referred to as and incense cup, the true purpose of this cup is unknown, although there have been a number of theories over the years. One of the more plausible suggestions is that it was used to carry a smouldering coal from the home hearth to the ceremonial cremation site.
This would explain the function of the beads which allow air to circulate between them and stop your hand directly touching the surface of the pot, which does get hot from the coal inside. It would also explain why there have been several this style of vessel found in burial goods.
It also makes a good handwarmer, we have experimented with this.
Smoke fired Terracotta
Diameter 100 mm x Height 70 mm
It has been fired to emulate the ancient firing conditions. The original pot would have been fired in an open wood fire, in close contact with the fuel, a process that leaves its mark on the clay as variations in the surface colour. However the very low temperatures achieved in open firings, also results in pots that are relatively weak, so this pot has been fired to a somewhat higher temperature to strengthen it, in a special firing process that allows me to achieve an authentic appearance to the pot.
As with all my Museum Quality Replicas this pot has been made, as the original would have been, entirely by hand from natural clay and using replicas of the types of tool that the Bronze-Age makers would have used. In keeping with the original pot, the decoration has been applied using hand twisted cord made from natural bark fibres, in this case Lime Bark Bast. As each pot varies you many not receive the exact cup in the image, but you can be sure that due to the variations caused by the firing process your pot will be a one of a kind.
Health & Safety
This is a Museum Quality Replica and is not intended for use. If you chose to experiment with possible uses for this vessel, then you do so at your own risk.
All items are sent using a second class postal service, if you wish to have an item sent first class please contact my for a quote. Many Thanks