Oval gem with head of bearded man in profile to left

Imperial Period
2nd century A.D.


Length x width: 15 x 12 mm (9/16 x 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Jewelry, The Ancient World



Amethyst. Intaglio. Flat front and back faces with inward back bezel and very slight inward front bezel. The head of a man, almost certainly a portrait, faces in profile to the left. His hair is combed forward and rendered in neat, regular striations above his brow and in denser, shorter locks behind his ear, which is visible. He wears a very short, light beard. His face is carved realistic details: there is a slight bag under his eye and a crease at the corner of his mouth. The man’s individualized features are well-defined: he has a prominent nose with a very small bump, a deep-set eye below the delineated eyelid, an expressive eyebrow, and a somewhat protruding chin. The carving is deep. Chipped on the edges and back bezel.


By 1961: Dr. L. Lahut Uzman Collection (according to his records: Bought from Bob Hecht Oct. 1961.); 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