Round gem with Triton and Nereid

Roman
Late Republican Period
about 40–30 B.C.


Dimensions

Length: 16 mm (5/8 in.)

Accession Number

99.103

Medium or Technique

Carnelian

On View

Anne and Blake Ireland Gallery (Gallery 210A)

Collections

Jewelry, The Ancient World

Classifications

Gems

Intaglio. Set in modern gold ring. Back of stone is faceted. In the center, Triton, bare-chested and shown only from the waist up, raises his right hand up to his head, while clasping a female figure, a Nereid, with his left hand. The Nereid is also only shown from the waist up, draped around her waist but with bare torso. At lower left, emerging from waves, a dolphin head and the head of a boy, possibly Eros. Another head just visible along the break at the bottom of the gem. Wavy drapery behind Triton’s head. In the field, below Triton’s left arm, an inscription in Greek: ‘HYLLOS.’ Motif is deeply carved.

Provenance

By date unknown: Collection of George, 3rd Duke of Marlborough; 1875: purchased by David Bromilow; by 1899: property of Mrs. Jary (daughter of David Bromilow); sold at auction by Christie, Manson and Woods, 8 King Street, St. James's Square, London, June 26-29, 1899, lot 187; 1899: with Edward Perry Warren; 1899: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 16,502.52 (this figure is the total price for MFA 99.101-99.119)

Credit Line

Henry Lillie Pierce Fund