Oval gem with Hygeia feeding a serpent

Imperial Period
2nd century A.D.


Length x width: 12 x 8 mm (1/2 x 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Jewelry, The Ancient World



Red-orange carnelian. Intaglio. Convex front and slightly convex back with inward back bezel. Hygeia stands facing an altar at the right. The altar is about as high as her knee and has three tiny flames. A serpent is coiled around her, which she feeds from a patera (offering dish). Her drapery is belted and falls down in straight, narrow folds, and a himation is wrapped around her hips. She stands on a ground line.


By date unknown: Dr. L. Lahut Uzman Collection (according to his records: Sent by Tuba - from Istanbul. Yeni 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