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Warren purchased the cup in Rome from a dealer in 1911 for 2,000. It was bought in Jerusalem and said to have been found near the city in Battir (ancient Betar), with coins of the emperor Claudius, possibly buried during the upheavals of the Jewish Revolt.
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The cup is etched and pitted due to the effect of corrosive cleaning deposits; however, remnants of silver chloride and black silver sulphide survive in crevices. A crack runs from the rim, around the figure of the boy on one side. The base is distorted and broken with the pedestal having been pushed up, denting the cup and causing the cup to lean at an angle. The damage to the base was in modern times, thought to have occurred when the cup was cleaned in the 20th century. The foot was soldered back on to the cup in modern times. It is thought that the cup was moulded twice in modern times due to remains of plaster and silicone rubber found in crevices.