Gem with warrior holding a head and winged victory on other side

Etruscan or Italic
Roman Republican
3rd century B.C.


Length: 12 mm (1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Jewelry, The Ancient World



Warrior, nude except for helmet and shield, standing to right with left leg bent over a headless male body lying next to his shield and sword. He holds the head of the fallen warrior into his left hand with his elbow resting on his raised leg. Crested helmet in the field at right. Partial groundline. Hatched border. On the reverse, winged victory striding to left with wreath in raised left hand. Small scratches at right. Orange carnelian. Oval intaglio with flat front and beveled edge, set in modern brass (?) ring.


By date unknown, William Ponsonby, Second Earl of Bessborough (b. 1704 – d. 1793), London [1]; by date unknown, George Spencer, Fourth Duke of Marlborough (b. 1739 – d. 1817), Blenheim Palace, UK; by descent within the family to John Winston Spencer-Churchill, Seventh Duke of Marlborough (b. 1822 – d. 1883), Blenheim Palace, UK; June 28, 1875, Marlborough sale, Christie, Manson and Woods, London, sold en bloc to David Bromilow (b. 1809 – d. 1898) for £35,000; by descent to his daughter, Julia Harriet Mary Jary; June 26, 1899, Marlborough sale, Christie, Manson and Woods, London, lot 347, to Nevil Story-Maskelyne (b. 1823 – d. 1911) for £5; July 4, 1921, Story-Maskelyne sale, Sotheby, Wilkinson, and Hodge, London, lot 67, to Edward Perry Warren; April 5, 1925, loaned by Edward Perry Warren to MFA (as 145.26); 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)

[1] L. Natter, Catalogue des pierres gravées, tant en relief qu’en creux de Mylord Comte de Bessborough (1761), no. 52

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1912