Oval gem with scorpion

Imperial Period
2nd–3rd century A.D.


Length x width: 13 x 12 mm (1/2 x 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Jewelry, The Ancient World



Brownish-yellow jasper. Flat on both sides with inward back facet. A scorpion viewed from above. The left pincer connects with the body via a round pellet, and there is a very small space between these two parts of the limb. The right pincer connects with the body by a more deeply cut dash. The body is almond-shaped but flattened towards the head. Four legs, each with a central joint, extend from either side of the body. Tail is indicated by three pellets that taper into a thin line that curves to the right.


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