Calabash cup

On display

By tradition this cup belonged to Jacob Bobart (c. 1600-1680), the first superintendent of the Oxford Physic Garden. Little is known of Bobart, although he is thought to have been a native of Brunswick in Germany and to have been an innkeeper by trade. On his death in 1680, diarist Anthony Wood described him as a 'servant to the Universitie: an understanding man: the best gardiner in England'. The calabash is a vine; it is found throughout the tropics and was cultivated from early times for its fruit and, when dried, for use as a container. The engraved pattern on this example is not European and was perhaps done in Mexico or Peru.

Information derived from T. Schroder, British and Continental Gold and Silver in the Ashmolean (2009)


  • Title

    Calabash cup

  • Artist/maker

    Anonymous British (goldsmith)
  • Associated place

    Europe (place of creation)
  • Date

    mid-17th century
  • Material and technique

    silver and calabash gourd

  • Object type

  • Dimensions

    13.7 cm (height)
  • No. of items


  • Credit line

    Bequeathed by Misses Marjorie and Phyllis May Hawkins, 1982.

  • Museum location

    Second floor | Gallery 55 | Silver
  • Museum department

    Western Art

  • Accession no.


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Further reading

Schroder, Timothy, British and Continental Gold and Silver in the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford, Ashmolean Museum, 2009), 33

Reference URL

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