Oval gem with centaur and meanad

Roman
Republican or Imperial Period
1st century B.C.–1st century A.D.


Dimensions

Length: 19 mm (3/4 in.)

Accession Number

98.748

Medium or Technique

Glass (paste)

Not On View

Collections

Jewelry, The Ancient World

Classifications

Gems

Purple glass. Intaglio. Convex back. A centaur, galloping left, clutches a maenad around the waist with his left arm. In his raised left hand he holds a staff (thyrsus). His torso is seen from behind, horse body in profile, and he turns his head back to look at the maenad. The maenad, who is awkwardly flung across the centaur’s back, has her head thrown back and holds a tympanum in her upraised right hand. Her other arm is flung out to the side towards the centaur’s rump suggesting that she is struggling against the grasp of the centaur. Her dress is in disarray, leaving her left leg and possibly her left breast exposed. Motif situated on a ground line.

Provenance

By date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: bought in Rome); 1898: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 69,618.13 (this figure is the total price for MFA 98.641-98.940)

Credit Line

Henry Lillie Pierce Fund