Lentoid seal with a lioness attacking a bull

Early Aegean, Minoan
Bronze Age, Late Minoan II Period
about 1470–1410 B.C.

Catalogue Raisonné

Lewes House Gems, no. 003 (1920; 2002, additional published references); Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 154.


Length: 32 mm (1 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



Mottled, brownish red carnelian. Lentoid seal engraved in intaglio; pierced vertically. A lioness attacks a bull, in the belly-to-belly position with head facing. The lioness, in profile with a frontal head, a long mane curved like a fan, a short-haired ruff below the shoulder, and four figure-eight teats, bites the bull’s right front leg and stands with her right forepaw on his chin, her hind paws between his hind feet. The bull has an open mouth and protruding tongue. Careful modeling. Outlined bodies. Round drill used for eyes, joints and teats.


By 1904: with Edward Perry Warren (according to J. D. Beazley, The Lewes House Collection of Ancient Gems, no. 3: sent from Athens in 1904); 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