Scaraboid gem with a fly

Classical Period
5th–4th century B.C.


Length: 18 mm (11/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Rock crystal

On View

Anne and Blake Ireland Gallery (Gallery 210A)


Jewelry, The Ancient World


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.


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