Oval gem with seated woman holding mirror

Late Classical/ Early Hellenistic Period
380–320 B.C.


Length: 25.91 x 22.86 mm (1 x 7/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Glass paste

Not On View


Jewelry, The Ancient World


Scarabs and scaraboids

Pale green glass paste. Imitation scaraboid with intaglio on flat face. A seated woman facing left looks at her reflection in a mirror. The woman’s head is veiled and some of her hair is visible across her forehead. She wears a chiton and himation, the folds of which fall across her body. Her eye, nose, and lips are distinctly depicted. She holds a round mirror in her hand and sits on a diphros, a backless stool. Three of its turned legs are visible. She is situated on a ground line. In front of her, coming up as high as her knees, is a neck amphora, a two-handled pot with a clearly-defined neck narrower than the body. At the left edge of the gem is a plant of some sort, growing on a tall, slim stalk and terminating in a frond. The gem’s surfaces are unpolished and worn, and there is a significant chip on the lower edge, which does not obstruct the scene. It is pierced vertically for mounting or suspension.


One of a group of gems purchased in Greece or Asia Minor in 1963 by Cornelius C. Vermeule III on behalf of MFA with funds approved in advance by the Trustees; accessioned March 11, 1964

Credit Line

Theodora Wilbour Fund in memory of Zoë Wilbour