Scaraboid gem with two cranes

Greek
Early Classical Period
480–450 B.C.


Dimensions

Length: 20 mm (13/16 in.)

Accession Number

13.242

Medium or Technique

Chalcedony

On View

Anne and Blake Ireland Gallery (Gallery 210A)

Collections

Jewelry, The Ancient World

Classifications

Scarabs and scaraboids

Intaglio. Pierced for stringing (vertical). Motif oriented vertically. Two herons stand facing each other with a silphium plant (an extinct variety of giant fennel) between them. Their beaks are pointed down and wings are half-open. Plant has a flower or bud at the top of the stalk, terminating just below the herons’ beaks; there are three additional tiers of leaves, the second from the bottom with two additional flowers/buds. Herons stand on a partial ground line. Inscribed with the Greek letters ‘gamma,’ ‘omega’ and ‘lambda’ from left to right, between birds’ legs and the plant. Hatched border. Significant portion of seal back is broken.

Provenance

By date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: From the Evans Coll.); January 2, 1913: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $18,948.70 (this figure is the total price for MFA 13.186-13.245)

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1912