In case anyone is anywhere near Malibu, I highly recommend visiting this exhibition at the Getty Villa, which is on to August 17, 2015. I'll be blogging about the more interesting pieces, the core of which come from the Berthouville Treasure.
This treasure owned by the BNF, was extensively studied and conserved by the Getty, a more interesting way to acquire works - through loans than purchases on the art market. It was found in the 19th century, seemingly the hoard of an obscure Norman sanctuary, and escaped being melted for scrap luckily. The cups are some of the finest surviving examples of ancient silverware, and if this is the quality to be found in an obscure provincial sanctuary on the fringes of the Empire, one can only wonder at what kind of glories would have graced the great sanctuaries of Greece and Rome.
More soon, but if you're in the area do visit it as the BNF Cabinet will be closed for restoration for some time.
Ancient Luxury and the Roman Silver Treasure from Berthouville, on view at the Getty Villa November 19, 2014, to August 17, 2015.