Oval gem with a portrait bust of an elderly man

Roman
Late Republican Period
75–50 B.C.


Catalogue Raisonné

Lewes House Gems, no. 116 (1920; 2002, additional published references).

Dimensions

Overall: 0.3 x 1.2 x 1.6 cm (1/8 x 1/2 x 5/8 in.)

Accession Number

27.741

Medium or Technique

Carnelian

On View

Anne and Blake Ireland Gallery (Gallery 210A)

Collections

Jewelry, The Ancient World

Classifications

Gems

Orangish-red carnelian with dark inclusions. Intaglio, in silver setting. Bust of a man, facing right, wearing a breastplate and cloak. His close-cropped hair is rendered by short strokes; his lips are pressed together. Behind his neck there is an ambiguous object that looks like a short spur topped by a crosspiece. Part of the lower-left corner of the gem is missing.

Provenance

By 1911: with Edward Perry Warren (according to J. D. Beazley in The Lewes House Collection of Gems: Said to be from Athens. Formerly in the Evans Collection. Bought in 1911.); April 5, 1926: loaned to MFA by Edward Perry Warren (as 110.26); November 17, 1927: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 161,000.00 (this figure is the total price for MFA 27.647-27.761)

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1912