Oval gem with armed female vanquishing a snake

French (?)


Overall: 0.2 x 1.9 x 1.6 cm (1/16 x 3/4 x 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Europe, Jewelry, The Ancient World



Orange carnelian with yellow-orange variation. Intaglio. Flat front with slightly convex back and inward front bezel. A female figure stands facing right; her head is in profile while her torso and lower body are frontal. She wears a crested helmet and a long tunic (peplos). A mantle is draped over her shoulders and upper arms. Her right hand is outstretched, holding a linear object (torch?), and her left grasps a scepter. At her feet flops a large snake with its head turned over, apparently in death; the tip of its tail protrudes from the coils of its body. Inscription: VOUS SEVI. Some aspects of the gem, including the imagery and the inscription, which is in French, suggest that it may not be ancient.


By date unknown: Mr. and Mrs. William de Forest Thomson Collection; gift of Mr. and Mrs. William de Thomson to MFA, September 12. 1918

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William de Forest Thomson