Stolen Abraham Barachin cup returned to Hull after 30 years

18th century silver dram cup Image copyright Hull Museums
Image caption The cup is engraved with an image of the Roman god Mercury, holding his caduceus, or staff

An 18th century cup made by a celebrated silversmith which was stolen 30 years ago has been returned to the museum it was taken from.

The silver dram cup was pinched from Hull's Wilberforce House Museum in 1986 and was lost until last year when it resurfaced in London.

It was identified when an antiques collector took it to an 'opinions day' at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

The cup was then offered back to the original museum free of charge.

Tom Goulder, assistant curator of Hull Museums, said the cup was bought in 1969 with a grant from the Art Fund.

He said: "It's really important to Hull because it's a work by Abraham Barachin and he was the last Hull silversmith to use the Hull makers' mark."

Image copyright Hull Museums
Image caption The cup, which is also marked with the initials 'M.A.R' was made by Hull silversmith Abraham Barachn
Image copyright Hull Museums
Image caption Abraham Barchin was the last craftsman in Hull to mark his silver with the Hull maker's mark of three ducal coronets

The Barachin cup was originally thought to be a medical 'bleeding bowl', used to collect blood during bloodletting but is now thought to have been used to measure and drink small volumes of liquid.

The cup is engraved with an image of the Roman god Mercury holding a caduceus, or staff, along with the initials of its previous owners, 'M.A.R'.

Councillor Terry Geraghty said: "We are looking forward to having this piece returned and back in its rightful home for visitors to view and admire."

No one has ever been arrested in connection with the theft.

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