Oval gem with Venus Victrix

Roman
Imperial Period
1st–2nd century A.D.


Dimensions

Length: 12 mm (1/2 in.)

Accession Number

18.362

Medium or Technique

Carnelian

Not On View

Collections

Jewelry, The Ancient World

Classifications

Gems

Brownish-orange carnelian (also called sard). Intaglio. Flat front, slightly convex back with deep inward back bezel. Venus stands in three-quarter view facing right, her back to the viewer and her face in profile. Her right leg is drawn behind her, and her left elbow rests on a pillar. She is draped around the hips with exposed buttocks; the drapery sweeps up under her elbow and hangs from a knot . A crested helmet is held outstretched in her right hand, and a lance is cradled in her left arm. A shield rests on the floor behind her feet where, in the field, an ant holds a kernel of grain in its jaws. In front of Venus sits an unidentified object, perhaps a low stand or tripod supporting a vessel. There is a groundline. The gem is chipped at the back of the goddess’s head.

Provenance

By date unknown: Alexander Cochrane Collection; gift of Alexander Cochrane to MFA, August 1, 1918

Credit Line

Gift of Alexander Cochrane