Oval gem with shepherd standing by vine

Roman
Republican Period
about 50 B.C.


Dimensions

Length: 12 x 10.67 mm (1/2 x 7/16 in.)

Accession Number

64.488

Medium or Technique

Rock crystal

Not On View

Collections

Jewelry, The Ancient World

Classifications

Gems

Rock crystal. Intaglio. Flat front surface with convex back. A bearded shepherd stands in profile to left. He leans with bent arms on a thin staff, bending his right leg and placing his weight on his left leg. He wears a short, rustic tunic that falls in narrow folds. He faces a vine which grows slightly taller than he is, and which is covered in small leaves. It is possible but not definitive that the figure on the gem is Faustulus, the shepherd who discovered the twins Romulus and Remus being suckled by the she-wolf. The gem is mounted in a modern gold pin setting.

Provenance

By date unknown: with Bernheimers' Antique Arts, 44 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 02138; purchased by MFA from Bernheimers' Antique Arts, April 8, 1964

Credit Line

Theodora Wilbour Fund in memory of Zoë Wilbour