Ring with a scarab showing a youth tuning a lyre

Italic, Etruscan or East Greek
Late Archaic or Early Classical Period
about 485–470 B.C.


Length: 15 mm (9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Gold and carnelian

Not On View


Jewelry, The Ancient World



Deep, almost opaque, brownish red carnelian. Scarab with a flat, oval base engraved in intaglio; pierced lengthwise; set in an ancient swivel ring made from gold sheet with granulated finals. Youth in profile to left, seated on a rock or a tree trunk with a cloth folded over, tuning his lyre. The lyre is shaped like a goat’s head whose striated horns form the arms of the instrument. Back carved as a beetle with a hatched border around the thorax and three lines dividing the elytra. Plastic, detailed legs with spined front legs. Plinth with a thin cable border over tongues. Missing chips near the stringholes.


By date unknown: Morrison Collection (according to Warren's records: Morrison sale, no. 43); by date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren; 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