Oval gem with Nereid riding hippocamp

Roman
Imperial Period
25–1 B.C.


Dimensions

Length: 20 mm (13/16 in.)

Accession Number

13.232

Medium or Technique

Sard

Not On View

Collections

Jewelry, The Ancient World

Classifications

Gems

Intaglio. Flat front and back with inward back bezel; half of gem lost. A Nereid (Thetis?) rides a hippocamp to the right. Only the horse part of the hippocamp is visible. Nereid is seated ‘side-saddle’ and leans on the neck of the hippocamp with her left hand. She wears a garment over her legs; her upper body is bare. Waves of the ocean lightly etched on the surface of the gem but too shallowly carved to register in the impression.

Provenance

From the Boulton Collection, sold at auction, Dec. 12th, 1911, according to Warren's records; purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, January 2, 1913, for $18,948.70 (this figure is the total price for MFA 13.186-13.245)

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1912