Gem with Herakles

Hellenistic Period
1st century B.C.


Length: 14 mm (9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Jewelry, The Ancient World



Onyx with three layers (black, white, and brown from the bottom up). Oval intaglio with slightly convex front in modern ring. Bearded, nude Herakles standing frontally with head to right. He leans on a club at his left. He holds an object, probably apples, in his right hand, while a lion skin is wrapped around his forearm. Partial groundlines under his feet and club. Small scratches all over the surface.


By date unknown, Nevil Story-Maskelyne (b. 1823 – d. 1911); July 4, 1921, Story-Maskelyne sale, Sotheby, Wilkinson, and Hodge, London, lot 104, to Edward Perry Warren; April 5, 1925, loaned by Edward Perry Warren to MFA (as 146.26); November 17, 1927, purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, for $161,000.00 (this figure is the total price for MFA 27.647-27.761)

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1912