Fragment of gem with face of Mercury
1st century B.C.
Overall (setting): 0.4 x 2.2 x 1.9 cm (3/16 x 7/8 x 3/4 in.)
Medium or Technique
Not On View
Brownish carnelian (also called sard). Intaglio, preserved in a triangular fragment. Slightly convex back and front, in a modern setting. A male face in profile to the left. A few locks of curly hair are visible across the brow. The top of a medicinal wand (caduceus) is visible at the bottom of the fragment, indicating that the figure is likely the god Mercury.
By date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren (according to his records: London sale); loaned to MFA by Edward Perry Warren, October 28, 1925 (as 673.25); purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, November 17, 1927 for $ 161,000.00 (this figure is the total price for MFA 27.647-27.761)
Francis Bartlett Donation of 1912