Oval gem with bust of a young man

Imperial Period
2nd or early 3rd century A.D.


Length x width: 11 x 8 mm (7/16 x 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Jewelry, The Ancient World



Dark orange carnelian. Intaglio. Convex front and flat back with inward back bezel. Bust of a young man depicted in profile to the left. He has thick, curly hair indicated by pellets. A series of incised lines around his neck denotes a pallium over a chiton or tunic. He has a large eye, a straight nose, and a small mouth, and the lower eyelid is visible. A retrograde Greek inscription runs counterclockwise starting at the crown of the head and reads KERDONOS, “of Kerdon.” The bust is perhaps a portrait of the gem’s owner. There is a chip in the back behind the omicron, but it does not interfere with the inscription’s legibility.


ΚΕΡΔΩΝΟC (counter-clockwise, starting at the crown of the head)


By 1940: Dr. L. Lahut Uzman Collection (according to his records: Bought 1940. Shop opposite Pera Palas Istanbul.); 1962: inherited by Mrs. L. Lahut Uzman; December 12, 1962: one of the group of 20 gems (62.1145–62.1164) purchased by MFA from Mrs. L. Lahut Uzman for a total price of $ 2,200-

Credit Line

Theodora Wilbour Fund in memory of Zoë Wilbour