Oval gem with a woman holding a bird

Hellenistic Period
2nd–1st century B.C.


Length: 21 mm (13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

Anne and Blake Ireland Gallery (Gallery 210A)


Jewelry, The Ancient World



Banded dark and light brown agate. Intaglio. Pierced for stringing (horiztonal). Motif oriented vertically. Woman facing left, with pointy chin, standing with weight on right leg and left leg slightly bent, holds a bird in her extended right hand. She holds a small object (a jar or lyre?) in her left hand. She wears a chiton with swallow-tail drapery folds down her legs, and a short cloak or shawl covering her upper left arm. She wears an archaizing hairstyle: hair gathered in a low bun, striations along the crown of head and a bulbous, bead-like band of hair (possibly a diadem?) around her head. Shallow carving. Small repair at her feet.


By 1926: with Edward Perry Warren; according to Warren's records: bought in London; April 5, 1926: loaned to MFA by Edward Perry Warren (as 141.26); 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