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  • Place of origin:

    Peru (probably, made)

  • Date:

    1670-1730 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Chased gold

  • Credit Line:

    The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Gold, Silver and Mosaics, Room 70, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Galleries, case 6

This piece was recovered in 1985 off the coast of Florida. It was probably part of the wreckage of the Santo Cristo de San Roman, one of a dozen Spanish ships carrying gold and silver coins, plate and bullion to Philip V of Spain. A hurricane sank the fleet in 1715 as it sailed across the Atlantic. Centuries of exposure to sand and sea have dulled the gold to a matt surface texture.

The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Schatzkammer is one of the few collections of its kind formed in the late 20th century. The Schatzkammer, or treasury, was a new concept in the 16th century. It referred to a special chamber in which the most precious artefacts of a princely collection were housed. Gold and jewelled objects were mounted alongside exotic natural curiosities, including rock crystal, nautilus shells and ostrich eggs. Together they demonstrated not only the wonders of nature and the technical achievements of the artist, but also the intellect and culture of the patron.

Sir Arthur Gilbert and his wife Rosalinde formed one of the world's great decorative art collections, including silver, mosaics, enamelled portrait miniatures and gold boxes. Arthur Gilbert donated his extraordinary collection to Britain in 1996.

Physical description

Oval gold two-handled cup, standing on a domed foot. The broad rim has eight lobes. The bowl and foot are heavily chased with floral, foliate and scroll decoration. The handles are S-scrolls with vertebral ornament.

Place of Origin

Peru (probably, made)


1670-1730 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Chased gold

Marks and inscriptions

L beneath a helmeted head and between two pillars
Possibly for Lima

Unidentified maker's mark


Height: 6.9 cm, Width: 12.5 cm, Depth: 12.1 cm, Weight: 280 g

Object history note

This cup was recovered in 1985 from a wreck off the Florida coast, believed to be that of the 'Santo Cristo de San Roman', part of the Spanish bullion fleet sunk in 1715.

Descriptive line

Gold cup; probably Peru, 1670-1730.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Schroder, Timothy. The Gilbert collection of gold and silver (supplement) Los Angeles (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) 1988, cat. no. S.

Labels and date

(Gallery 70, case 6)
1. South American gold cup
Objects were acquired from across the world to furnish Schatzkammers. This piece was recovered in 1985 off the Florida coast from the wreckage of one of the many ships bringing objects to Spain from South America in the early 18th century. Gold plate is extremely rare, as it was almost always melted down. Centuries of exposure to sand and sea have dulled the gold’s surface to a matt texture.
Probably Peru
Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.22-2008 [16/11/2016]




Chasing; Casting

Subjects depicted

Foliate; Floral; Scrolls (motifs)




Metalwork Collection

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