Now, here’s some nerdiness. Yes, that IS the gold cup from ‘A Jubilee Present’.
For those who don’t know the Raffles stories inside and out, this story takes place in the diamond jubilee year of Queen Victoria (long may she reign), and Raffles, fed up with his stolen jewels depreciating like crazy, (much like any modern person trying to resell a diamond), plots to steal from the ‘room of gold’ at the British Museum, melt it down and innocently cash it in at the Bank of England. A flawless plan, as you might imagine, especially in the days before CCTV.
Raffles and Bunny go to the museum to scope out whats there, but when the perfect opportunity avails them they steal the most intricate and gorgeous thing there, a gold cup telling of the life and martyrdom of Saint Agnes.
Rather than melting it down however, Raffles instead sends to the Queen as a jubilee present. In a biscuit tin, wrapped in newspaper and brown paper.
Its one of the most charming of the Raffles stories, and we literally had no idea that the cup was real until a couple of days before we went to London.
Now, obviously in fiction things are different. The cup is listed as being in room 43 in the book - its actually in room 40, Medieval Europe. Strange that in 115 years the cup has only moved 3 rooms, and we’re here again in another diamond jubilee year for a female monarch.
Alas, there could be no stealing a present for the Queen this time round. Multiple guards and probably CCTV and pressure sensors out of the wazoo - plus it was half term. So instead we went to see the mummies.