Intaglio with a crab

Greek or Roman
Roman Imperial
100–300 AD


Dimensions

Length: 7 mm (1/4 in.)

Accession Number

1972.968

Medium or Technique

Burnt carnelian

Not On View

Collections

Jewelry, The Ancient World

Classifications

Gems

Crab, seen from above. Ancient texts and magical inscriptions show that the crab was used to protect against and heal the sting or bite of venomous animals such as scorpions and serpents; the symbol can also refer to the astrological sign. Such amulets are extremely common and found all over the Mediterranean.

Small chip on lower edge. Reddish brown carnelian (burnt?), sub-oval intaglio with convex front and beveled edge.

Provenance

By date unknown: Burton Y. Berry Collection; gift of Burton Y. Berry to MFA, November 8, 1972

Credit Line

Gift of Burton Y. Berry