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Cover of a gold cup (fragment)

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Cover of a gold cup (fragment) Germany, late 12th or early  13th century

Cockerell was particularly interested in medieval secular objects. In 1921 the Friends secured this fragment of a gold cup, perhaps associated with a marriage judging from the seated couple holding flowers. It was said to have been found at Trier in 1795 and acquired by Johann Aloys Reichsfreiherr von Hügel.

Cockerell bought it from his grandson, Baron Anatole von Hügel, curator of the Cambridge Museum of General and Local Archaeology, had it cleaned and restored, and showed it to Frederick Leverton Harris, an avid collector of antiques. As soon as he heard of the successful conservation and of the Director’s passion for medieval objects, Leverton Harris offered a piece from his own collection, a thirteenth-century champlevé enamel gemellion from Limoges (displayed in Gallery 32).

Cockerell invited him to join the Syndicate in 1922 and the very next year persuaded him to purchase, together with the Friends, three alabaster carvings from fifteenth-century Nottingham (displayed in Gallery 32).

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