THE top part of a human skull, with an association to Lord Byron, is one of the more unusual lots going under the Charterhouse hammer in their two day October 19 and 20 auction.

“As one of the greatest British poets, a peers, a politician and a leading figure in the Romantic Movement Lord Byron needs little introduction.” commented Richard Bromell. “Anything with an association or connection to Lord Byron is of great interest to collectors, even if it is part of a human skull.”

The skull drinking cup has a silver coloured metal rim inscribed “SKULL DRINKING CUP USED BY LORD BYRON AT NEWSTEAD ABBEY”. Lord Byron used a skull as a drinking vessel in the 19th century. It was dug up by a gardener in the grounds at Newstead Abbey and Lord Byron took a fancy to it and sent it to be polished and mounted for use as a drinking vessel.

This skull was noted by Byron as an unusually large size. The skull cup going under the Charterhouse hammer in Sherborne is of a more modest size, measuring 16.5 cms wide. However, it was known Lord Byron displayed several skulls, no doubt discovered in the grounds of Newstead Abbey, in his study.

“Lord Byron died in 1824 aged 36 years old. The engraving to the skull cup appears to be of a later date, probably towards the end of the 19th century.” continued Richard Bromell. “Although I am not a leading expert in skulls, I think you have to take this at face value and either believe the inscription or not. For me, I think the legend on the cup does hold some water and estimate it at £500-1,000”.

The skull cup is part of the Charterhouse two day auction of pictures, books, sporting items and antiques on October, Thursday 19 and Friday 20, with the cup being sold on the Friday for the anonymous collector who lives in Devon.

Charterhouse is now accepting further entries for their busy programme of specialist auctions which including the above October auction, classic & vintage cars on November 5 followed by another two day auction of watches, jewellery, silver and antiques on November 16 and 17.

For further information regarding these auctions, or to arrange a home visit, contact Richard Bromell or Justine Jackson at Charterhouse on 01935-812277 or email items for valuation at