Bracelets with a basket flanked by snakes

Greek or Roman
Late Hellenistic or Early Imperial Period
1st century B.C.–1st century A.D.

Place of Manufacture: possibly Egypt

Catalogue Raisonné

Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 143.


Height: 6.5 cm (2 9/16 in.); max. diameter: 6.1 cm (2 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Gold, emeralds, and pearls (modern)

On View

Anne and Blake Ireland Gallery (Gallery 210A)


Jewelry, The Ancient World


Bracelets and armlets

A gold bracelet composed of a gold band studded with two outer rows of pearls. The projecting central element, a basket (kalathos), is decorated with cabochon emeralds and flanked by coiling snakes. Snakes were regarded as protective spirits, associated with healing (Asklepios) by the Greeks and the Romans. In an Egyptian context, the snake was often associated with Agathodaimon (“the Good Spirit”). One of a pair with 1981.288.


By 1980: with Holger Termer, Friedensweg 22, 2000 Hamburg 52, Germany (as ex Kunst der Antike: Ausstellung, Nov. 19-Dec. 19, 1980, Hamburg, no. 94); September 16, 1981: purchased by MFA from Holger Termer

Credit Line

Classical Department Exchange Fund