Round gem with dwarf killing grasshopper

Roman
Republican Period
1st century B.C.


Dimensions

Length: 11 mm (7/16 in.)

Accession Number

13.239

Medium or Technique

Sard

Not On View

Collections

Jewelry, The Ancient World

Classifications

Gems

Intaglio. Flat front, convex back. A dwarf killing a large bug. The dwarf is bearded and emaciated and has a long phallus. He steps forward with his right leg and stand on one of the bug’s antennae with his left foot. A large grasshopper or locust(?) is on its back with its head at the dwarf’s feet. The dwarf holds one of the bug’s hairy legs in his right hand while stabbing the belly of the bug with a short sword. The body of the bug is decorated with a chevron pattern connected by a central spinal line.

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