Scarab with Aias/Ajax falling on his sword

Italic, Etruscan
Late Archaic Period
500–475 B.C.


Catalogue Raisonné

Lewes House Gems, no. 041 (1920; 2002, additional published references).

Dimensions

Length: 1.3 cm (1/2 in.)

Accession Number

27.717

Medium or Technique

Carnelian

On View

Krupp Gallery (Gallery 215A)

Collections

Jewelry, The Ancient World

Classifications

Scarabs and scaraboids

Deep, almost opaque, orange-red carnelian with two lighter inclusions. Scarab with flat, oval base engraved in intaglio; pierced lengthwise; modern, golden swivel mount now detached. Nude, bearded Aias/Ajax in ¾ view leaning over an upright sword, hilt on the ground. His long hair are flipped over his head. Ornate scabbard behind at left. IHatched border. Back carved as a beetle with a hatched border around the thorax, a single line dividing the elytra and dotted head. Winglets in relief. Detailed legs with spined front legs. Plinth with tongue pattern. Missing chip at right. Damaged beetle’s legs. Worn back.

Provenance

By date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren (according to J. D. Beazley, The Lewes House Collection of Ancient Gems, no. 41: from the Boulton collection [sale catalogue, no. 3]); April 5, 1926: loaned to MFA by Edward Perry Warren (as 117.26); November 17, 1927: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 161,000.00 (this figure is the total price for MFA 27.647-27.761)

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1912