Oblong gem with a wedding procession and preparation of the nuptial bed

Italic, Etruscan
Archaic Period
550–500 B.C.


Dimensions

Length: 17 mm (11/16 in.)

Accession Number

27.663

Medium or Technique

Carnelian

Not On View

Collections

Jewelry, The Ancient World

Classifications

Gems

Translucent, orange carnelian. Oblong gem with two slightly convex faces engraved in intaglio separated by a vertical wall; pierced lengthwise. Face A: bride and groom in a chariot drawn by four horses and driven by an attendant on either side. A flute-player (aulete) leads the procession while a woman carrying a basket (cista) on her head follows behind the chariot. Face B: an attendant prepares the nuptial bed in an architectural structure with a pediment and acroteria (temple?). A tall vessel with volutes and a bird are placed next to the bed. Outside, on the right, stand a couple—the man wearing a pointed headdress and holding a branch or palm—and on the left a woman. Small chips missing near the stringholes.

Provenance

By 1926: with Edward Perry Warren; loaned to MFA by Edward Perry Warren, April 5, 1926 (as 39.26); purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, November 17, 1927, for $ 161,000.00 (this figure is the total price for MFA 27.647-27.761)

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1912