Cameo with portrait bust of Septimius Severus

Imperial Period
late 2nd–3rd century


Overall (setting): 3.9 x 2.5 cm (1 9/16 x 1 in.) Overall (cameo): 2.3 x 3 cm (7/8 x 1 3/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Jewelry, The Ancient World


Jewelry / Adornment, Cameos

Brown on white layered onyx. Cameo. Bust of the Roman emperor Septimius Severus (reigned AD 193 – 211), in profile to the right. He wears a radiate crown and a brooch fastens his cloak (paludamentum) over his right shoulder. The ringlets in his beard are a distinctive feature of his portraiture. A small piece of the cameo is broken out of the bottom.


By 1899: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: it came by a specially good route to Rome & from Rome to us [Warren] 1899.); 1899: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 32,500.00 (this is the total price for MFA 99.338-99.542)

Credit Line

Henry Lillie Pierce Fund