Scaraboid gem with a fly

Greek
Classical Period
5th–4th century B.C.


Dimensions

Length: 18 mm (11/16 in.)

Accession Number

63.481

Medium or Technique

Rock crystal

On View

Anne and Blake Ireland Gallery (Gallery 210A)

Collections

Jewelry, The Ancient World

Classifications

Scarabs and scaraboids

Intaglio. Pierced for stringing (horizontal). A fly seen from above. The body of the fly is divided into three sections: head, mid-section, and posterior body/tail. The head, in the shape of a flattened half-moon, has two antennae sticking out from the center, and a pair of (unjointed) legs from either side. A second pair of (jointed) legs extend from the trapezoidally-shaped mid-section of the body, and two more, closely spaced pairs of legs extend back from the posterior section of the body. The posterior section of the body is indicated by a triangle representing the center of the back, where the wings overlap. The slightly curved wings are outlined by a deeply cut line, with five decorative diagonal lines per wing.

Provenance

By date unknown: with Euripides Sepheriades; May 3, 1963: purchased by MFA from Euripides Sepheriades

Credit Line

Theodora Wilbour Fund in memory of Zoë Wilbour