Oval gem with "sandal-binder" Aphrodite

Hellenistic Period
2nd–1st century B.C.


Length x width: 13 x 7 mm (1/2 x 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Jewelry, The Ancient World



Banded white and brown onyx. Convex. Motif carved on convex side. Female figure, standing on left leg and raising right leg, bends forward and reaches down to her right foot/ankle with her left hand. In her extended right hand she holds a towel or piece of drapery that is thicker at the top and tapers down into a line extending to the ground. Her hair is pulled back into a bun and she is wearing a small diadem or fillet. Motif is situated on a groundline.


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