Oval gem with Poseidon-Neptune riding hippocamp

Late Republican or Imperial Period
1st century B.C.–1st century A.D.


Length: 17 mm (11/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Jewelry, The Ancient World



Brown glass with iridescent purple sheen on front. Intaglio. Flat front and back. Poseidon-Neptune rides sidesaddle to the left on a winged hippocamp, a composite animal with the front part of a horse and a fish-like coiled tail. Poseidon-Neptune is bearded and looks to the left; he wears a long robe, whose folds are indicated across his legs by shallow horizontal lines. He crosses his legs at the ankles and holds a trident in his left hand. Poseidon-Neptune sits on the back of the hippocamp so that the creature’s wing, which emerges from its shoulder, bisects and obscures the midsection of Poseidon-Neptune’s body. The hippocamp wears a bridle and Poseidon-Neptune holds the reigns in his unseen right hand.


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