The Lost Chalice: The Epic Hunt for a Priceless Masterpiece

The Lost Chalice The Epic Hunt for a Priceless Masterpiece A riveting story of tomb robbers and antiquities smugglers high stakes auctioneers and the princely chiefs of the world s most prestigious museums A terrific read from start to finish James L Swanso

  • Title: The Lost Chalice: The Epic Hunt for a Priceless Masterpiece
  • Author: Vernon Silver
  • ISBN: 9780061558283
  • Page: 262
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A riveting story of tomb robbers and antiquities smugglers, high stakes auctioneers and the princely chiefs of the world s most prestigious museums.A terrific read, from start to finish James L Swanson, New York Times bestselling author of Manhunt An Oxford trained archaeologist and award winning journalist based in Rome, Vernon Silver brings us The Lost Chalice, the A riveting story of tomb robbers and antiquities smugglers, high stakes auctioneers and the princely chiefs of the world s most prestigious museums.A terrific read, from start to finish James L Swanson, New York Times bestselling author of Manhunt An Oxford trained archaeologist and award winning journalist based in Rome, Vernon Silver brings us The Lost Chalice, the electrifying true story of the race to secure a priceless, 2,500 year old cup depicting the fall of Troy a lost treasure crafted by Euphronios, an artist widely considered the Leonardo Da Vinci of ancient Greece A gripping, real life mystery, The Lost Chalice gives readers a behind the scenes look at the inner workings of great museums and antiquities collections exposing a world of greed, backstabbing, and double dealing.

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      Published :2019-07-03T18:54:03+00:00

    One Reply to “The Lost Chalice: The Epic Hunt for a Priceless Masterpiece”

    1. Anyone who pays any attention to art news these days cannot have missed the increasing number of stories about archaelogical artifacts being sent back from the museums where they have been housed to the countries from when they came. This book is the saga of artifacts stolen from Etruscan graves at Cerveteri in Italy, who profited, how they were dispersed, and the struggle to recover them.Late in 1971, a few months before the effective date of UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Pr [...]

    2. In 1990 Sotheby's auctioned one of the oldest known signed works of art, a 2500 year old cup or chalice painted Euphronios, a Greek artist renowed as the Leonardo da Vinci of vases. The cup was sold for $742,500 and later dropped from public view. The cup was reputed to be a match to a much larger bowl purchased by the Metropolitan Museum in 1972 for oer one million dollars. That bowl was the world's most famous bowl and the crown jewel of the Met's collection. The Met's bowl had been looted fro [...]

    3. Well, this started off pretty good, with a bunch of Italian tomb robbers digging in the middle of the night to find an Etruscan tomb. And a large kylix is found and passed around through shady art world dealers until it ends up at the Met in New York. Then it gets boring. The author really knows his subject, and perhaps a little too well. He describes every single flight that the art dealers take, and once even goes into what they ordered at dinner. It was so painful. No one cares Mr. Silver! I [...]

    4. This is a great story about the illegal trade in stolen antiquities. I enjoyed it tremendously and read it almost nonstop. Best $0.99 I ever spent even though my eyeballs feel the worse for wear tonight! It showed me an alternate reality--I was an undergrad major in Art History (concentration in ancient art), minor in Classical Greek, considering a life in archaeology. The road not taken!

    5. The book's cover promises a thrilling and true story surrounding the shady deals of the underground. However, the author only partly delivers on this promise. The Lost Chalice follows the history of several key players in the drama that surrounded one of the more famous pieces of ancient craftsmanship to be discovered in recent times. This piece is none other than a spectacular red-figure Attic krater (something like a broad vase) created by a preeminent Greek painter and potter by the name of E [...]

    6. This book had me googling Euphronios and Etruscan vases. I needed to see these works of art that have been pilfered from the ancient tombs of Italy. So disturbing how much of the archaeological record has been lost due to the underground Antiquities market. And who knew how much laundering was done through Sotheby's! At least Italy got their Euphronios Krater back, among other items.

    7. This book is one of several books about the struggle against the sale of looted historical artifacts that have been published recently. The book focuses on one particular item, a 2500 year old drinking cup painted by the master craftsman Euphronios with a scene from the Iliad. The author traces the item from being illegally dug up from an Etruscan tomb in Tuscany, to Switzerland, a lab at Oxford University, the USA, and finally, after a long legal struggle, back to Italy. Along the way, we meet [...]

    8. Long ago I read Irving Stone's story about Henry Schliemann and it piqued my interest in Greek treasures.The Lost Chalice is very interesting and I especially like it for the factual details. Vernon Silver details Giacomo's life and business dealings from personal interviews with Medici, accesses his personal files and uses legal documents, all to give an accurate AND fascinating account of the chalice created by the famous potter, Euphronios.Robert Hecht (of Hecht Department Store fame), Dietri [...]

    9. You know I love the character of Indiana Jones but the reality of it is that he is a grave robber. And this book gets into the weird collusion that often goes on between grave robbers, middlemen, auctioneers and people who run museums and exhibits. When you go to enjoy things displayed in a museum as this book shows often those pieces come from places very murky- This book tracks the set of artifacts this case clay pots and vases made by the artist Euphronios about the year 500 BC. His vases, ky [...]

    10. The Lost Chalice follows the hunt for an ancient piece of art that everyone knows exists but no one can seem to find. Along the way you learn about art history, grave robbing, how people tried to stop grave robbing, how art objects with shady pasts get false histories, art auctions, and the way that museums acquire pieces. All of which turned out to be much more interesting than I thought it would be. And the author really knows his stuff. I think part of my problem was that I have no art histor [...]

    11. This was an interesting read about the illicit antiquities trade. I was hooked in the book early by the details about Euphronios, the Leonardo Di Vinci, of the Greek world with pottery. It was fascinating that this man existed 500 years before Christ, and that he was still in demand today. But the days of Lord Carnavon and Howard Carter finding an intact tomb that is then carefully archived and learned about in context is very much over. It has been replaced with tomb robbers that are in search [...]

    12. This book tracking the discovery, purchase, loss and rediscovery of ancient Greece vases through the murky world of tomb robbers and black-market art dealers paints a facinating picture of the modern world of museum acquisition. This book is a wonderful and engaging detective story, one that traces the journey of the famous Euphronios krater from its theft from an underground tomb in the Italian countryside to a permanent display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY.For anyone interested in a [...]

    13. I found this book after trying to track down a girl with blonde dreadlocks at the library and behold 3 weeks later I have conquered it! It describes the wonder of the ancient world and follows the shady world of antiquities and the original vases raided from a tomb back in the 1950's after WWII ravaged the Italian countryside. Giacomo Medici and Robert Hecht eventually strike a partnership that helps move original Euphronios signed vases from dusty graves onto the shelves of the Met and then the [...]

    14. Archaeologist Vernon Silver had an inside look at one of the biggest scandals in the antiquities world: the Euphronias krater. With a story that should have rivaled every tomb raider pulp novel ever written, how could he lose? Well, how about making his book more arid than the noonday Sahara?It's true. With a story this interesting, featuring big names in the art world (the Met and Getty museums, just to name two), Silver managed to make this a story completely devoid of life and interest -- unt [...]

    15. "The Lost Chalice" is an interesting adaptation of a thesis written by a journalist of antiquities? What does this mean? The book has the fast pacing of good journalism and lacks the ponderous footnotes of the thesis - but is nonetheless intellectually engaging. I occasionally mixed up some of the huge cast of personalities (especially those tomb-robbing Italians!) but in general I enjoyed the book quite a bit. I must have, because I read it in one day! If you've read "Loot" by Sharon Waxman, "T [...]

    16. The first half of the book is the account of the missing chalice.The second half of the book is the story of how the author stumbled onto the story and his trek through its unfolding.That could be a fine way to structure this story, if "mysteries" weren't laid out in the second half of the book that had already been "solved" in the first half. Telling readers of your own plight in locating a missing artifact is only interesting if you hadn't already revealed the location 200 pages earlier.There [...]

    17. As I have an interest in ancient history and art, as well as interesting tales, this book seemed like it would be a good read. While it took me a bit to get into, I really got absorbed in the recounting of Euphronios' works' journeys and those involved in their travels. Although I'm not sure if the actual release of this book contained photos (I read the Uncorrected Proof), it was one thing I kept wanting to see. Thankfully some quick internet searches provided me with just about all I wanted to [...]

    18. I really enjoyed this well-written detective story about several pieces of exquisite Greek pottery - painted by the highly renowned Euphronios - that were uncovered in a covert and illegal Etruscan tomb robbery in 1971 in central Italy and found their way into the hands of major museums and collectors until Italy began fighting to get these priceless artifacts returned in order to stem the tide of the illegal antiquities trade.There are a few brief PG-13 moments, but otherwise should be acceptab [...]

    19. This art mystery is about tomb raiders and the damage they, and those who have encouraged them, have caused to important historical artifacts and archeological sites, centering around works by Euphronios. The discussion of the importance of the krater and chalice are interesting, and the trail of its passage through the underground trade of art shows how cliquish and corrupt that world can be. This text can be a little repetitive, but the characters are painted colorfully and the works of art di [...]

    20. An interesting history of the provenance of the Sarpedon kylix. Read for my book club. Our discussion included topics like who does the object belong to? Does it belong to the person who found it (even if the finding was done through tomb robbing?), to the person on who's land it was found, to the country where it was found, to the country where it originated, to the museum that bought it despite an unclear provenance? Many questions raised. The book is a hunt back and forth through time tracing [...]

    21. This book started out so good. Really, it was fascinating. But then the author started repeating himself and then the whole story was rehashed, and then rehashed again! I did force myself to finish, but by the time that I was midway through the book I had the undeniable urge to just look up the facts on and simply be done with the repetition. What a shame the material would have made an amazing story, but it was just handled poorly.

    22. This seemed a little dry, but I might still read it in the future. If you enjoyed The Medici Conspiracy, you might like this, as it seems to flesh out the general nature of the illicit antiquities trade.

    23. Given my layperson's interest in art and history, this book was a fun "page turner" glimpse into the illicit antiquities market. One of the smugglers in the book, Giacomo Medici, raised an interesting philosophical/judicial question that the book never answered. . .Can/should we hold people TODAY responsible to our current laws and mores for actions they took in the PAST that did not, at the time they committed their acts, violate the laws and mores of the times in which they were living?

    24. I've learned a lot about Greek vases and pottery by reading this book. So that is cool. The story is neat but at times I wish the pace would have picked up. This book is an expansion of his doctoral dissertation so it kinds reads like that at some points. If you like "lost item" stories then check it out.

    25. I liked this book a lot--much more than I ever anticipated. The look at the art world and acquisitions, the cultural and political effects of artefact transport through nations, the black market around artefacts I just rolled around in it and loved it to bits. It inspired me into reading a continuing swath of historical-related nonfiction over my holiday.

    26. I have always been intrigued by archaeologyspecial ancient Greece after living there for several yearsThe story of this kalix, or cup, is mind bogglingA bit dry in places, but oh sp interesting!

    27. This was a little over-written, but still very interesting. I don't look at museums in the same way now. If you go online, you'll see how many things that were bought from these men are now being returned to Italy.

    28. A fast paced account. It lacked any climax: the end result was forecast from the beginning, so don't look at this as a substitute for a mystery story. A good rendering of the seamier side of museum acquisitions through the 1990s.

    29. Started off well, kinda ended with a dull thud. However, I do like a good epic-hunt-for-masterpiece type book. So, maybe if you are not into Greek vases and archaeological looting, this is not so much for you buddy.

    30. Tried to read this for the Columbus Museum of Art Book Club, but could not finish. Got bogged down in the facts/details. Possibly would have rated better if I could have made it to the end!

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