Oval gem with Nereid riding Hippocamp

Imperial Period
late 1st century B.C.–1st century A.D.


Length: 21 mm (13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Jewelry, The Ancient World



Dark blue glass with white band at center. Intalgio. Flat front. A hippocamp, a composite animal with the front part a horse and a snaky, fish-like coiled tail, faces left. A Nereid holds onto the hippocamp at the shoulder, and is carried along rather than riding the animal astride. She is seen in three-quarters view from the back and is draped around her waist and legs. At the far left, a human torso can be seen emerging from the water, possibly a triton. Water is indicated by a series of short, horizontal dashes along the underside of the hippocamp and bottom of the seal.


By date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: Bought in Rome.); December 1901: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution