Cameo with head of the Egyptian god Bes

Roman
Imperial Period
1st–3rd century A.D.


Dimensions

Overall: 1.9 x 1.9 cm (3/4 x 3/4 in.)

Accession Number

98.752

Medium or Technique

Sardonyx

On View

Anne and Blake Ireland Gallery (Gallery 210A)

Collections

Jewelry, The Ancient World

Classifications

Cameos

Brown on white on brown layered onyx. Cameo. Head of Bes, fully frontal. Bes is an Egyptian god associated with dance, health, fertility, and magic. He is bearded and wears a headdress with plumes. The protruding tongue is a feature particularly characteristic of Hellenistic and Roman depictions of Bes. There are chips along the top edge of the cameo.

Provenance

By date unknown: Count Michel Tyszkiewicz Collection; 1898: auction of the M. Tyszkiewicz Collection, Hotel des Commissaires-Priseurs, 9 rue Drouot, Paris, June 8-10, lot 271 (said to have been found in the Fayum); 1898: with Edward Perry Warren; 1898: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 69,618.13 (this figure is the total price for MFA 98.641-98.940)

Credit Line

Henry Lillie Pierce Fund