Cameo with a portrait head of a Ptolemaic queen

Greek, Ptolemaic
Hellenistic Period
2nd–1st century B.C.

Catalogue Raisonné

Lewes House Gems, no. 127 (1920; 2002, additional published references).


Height x width: 4.9 x 4 cm (1 15/16 x 1 9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

Anne and Blake Ireland Gallery (Gallery 210A)


Jewelry, The Ancient World



Watered gray layered onyx. Cameo, in modern gold mount. Head of a queen in the Greco-Egyptian Ptolemaic dynasty, wearing the cap of vulture’s feathers and diadem, pharaonic insignia common to Egyptian royal women. She wears her hair in formal corkscrew curls on her brow. The background is lost.


By date unknown: Count Michel Tyszkiewicz Collection (said by him that a man had brought it to Sambon of Naples); 1898: auction of the M. Tyszkiewicz Collection, Hotel des Commissaires-Priseurs, 9 rue Drouot, Paris, June 8-10, lot 302; by date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren; November 21, 1923: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 32,948.27 (this figure is the total purchase price for MFA 23.576-23.594)

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1912