Amygdaloid seal with ivy leaf and ewer

Early Aegean, Minoan
Bronze Age, Middle Minoan III - Late Minoan IA
1650—1500 B.C.


Length x width x thckns: 2.1 x 1.5 x .6 cm (13/16 x 9/16 x 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



Reddish-orange carnelian. Intaglio. Slightly convex front and back surfaces. A large, heart-shaped ivy leaf fills the right half of the composition on this almond-shaped, or amygdaloid, seal. Delicate diagonal hatch marks cover the leaf and a thicker vertical vein runs down its middle. To the left of the leaf is a ewer, a type of pitcher with a wide spout. The ewer’s sinuous handle extends nearly to its base. The circular body of the vessel is rendered by a particularly deep drill mark. The combination of imagery of a ewer and a leaf may be talismanic, though it is not certain. The seal is pierced lengthwise.


By 1966, with Ars Antiqua AG, Haldenstrasse 5, Lucerne, Switzerland (Ars Antiqua catalogue, June 1966, no. 105, said to be from Crete); purchased by MFA from Ars Antiqua AG, October 11, 1966

Credit Line

Frederick Brown Fund