Oval gem with figure leaning on pillar

Imperial Period
2nd century A.D.


Length x width: 19 x 13 mm (3/4 x 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Jewelry, The Ancient World



Light brownish-white stone. Intaglio. Convex oval with beveled edge. Motif carved on the convex side of gem, which has been flattened for the carving. A standing figure leans on a pillar with his right elbow. His weight is on his left leg, which pushes his left hip out to the side; his right leg is slightly bent. In his left hand he holds an object, possibly a branch or a piece of drapery. Behind his left shoulder, a small object is visible, possibly a quiver or a caduceus. His head is bent slightly towards the right. The carving is very schematic.


By 1836: Robert Hay Collection, Linplum, Scotland; 1863: to his son, Robert James Alexander Hay; 1868-1872: Way Collection, Boston (purchased by Samuel A. Way through London dealers Rollin and Feuardent, 27 Haymarket); 1872: given to the MFA by Samuel's son, C. Granville Way.

Credit Line

Hay Collection—Gift of C. Granville Way