The Lost Chalice

The Lost Chalice

The Epic Hunt for A Priceless Masterpiece

Book - 2009
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"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.

Publisher: New York : W. Morrow, c2009.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780061558283
Branch Call Number: 738. 382 SIL
Characteristics: 344 p., [24] p. of plates : ill. (some col.), ports.


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BeccaBB Feb 12, 2016

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 history knowledge. It was tough for me to get into this story. It started slowly and was talking about chalices, vases, cups, kraters, and kylixes and it took me a minute to realize that despite all the terms there were only two objects being discussed and it took me even longer to be able to keep the two straight. So it was a bit of a slog at first. But then I got into the story, even though there was a bit more detail than I think was needed at times, it was interesting to watch the story of the chalice unfold. It reads a lot like a detective story as with a few vague clues people try to make sense of the muddy history of the chalice and figure out where it came from, where it went and everything that happened to it in between. If you have no background in art history you may find it slow going in the beginning but it worth pushing on. It has a little something for anyone who likes a detective story, true crime, or history.

JeremiahSutherland Mar 29, 2012

For all his credentials as a writer (on the trade in illicit art) and an archaeologist, this author has turned out a real snoozer of a book.

He goes into great detail about things that are peripheral to the story. Trying to inject a bit of mystery and tension into his account, he manages to confuse and bore the reader.

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