Oval gem with shepherd standing by vine

Republican Period
about 50 B.C.


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

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Rock crystal

Not On View


Jewelry, The Ancient World



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.


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