Oval gem with an erotic scene
late 5th–early 4th century B.C.
Length: 29.85 mm, 1.1 x 2.4 cm (1 3/16 x 7/16 x 15/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Not On View
Intaglio. Pierced for stringing (horizontal). Motif oriented horizontally. A woman, seated on a cushioned bed, has intercourse with a male partner. Her face and legs are seen in profile, while her torso is twisted toward the viewer in a viewpoint somewhere between three-quarters and frontal. The woman wears a beaded necklace, a bracelet on her right arm, earrings, and thin slippers. Her hair is bound up in a scarf, with a few locks of hair escaping at her forehead and crown. She has a long nose, and heavy chin. Though seated on a bed, she holds her torso off of the bed with her arms; she may be rested her left elbow on one of the two pillows/cushions visible at the left edge of the bed. Her partner stands before the bed, and grabs her raised legs at the knees. He is bearded, and has short hair rendered by short striations. Like the woman, his face is rendered in profile, while his body is seen in three-quarter view from the back. Only one leg of the bed is visible at the left, the artist having omitted the back left leg; the right leg(s) is missing due to a large chip. Both figures have their gaze pointed down. Significant chip around right perforation.