Oval gem with the head of a Ptolemaic queen as Isis

Hellenistic Period
mid 2nd century B.C.

Catalogue Raisonné

Lewes House Gems, no. 095 (1920; 2002, additional published references).


Length x width x depth: 33 × 27 × 11 mm (1 5/16 × 1 1/16 × 7/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Out on Loan

On display at The J. Paul Getty Museum, March 27, 2018 – September 9, 2018


Jewelry, The Ancient World



Intaglio. Motif is very deeply carved into the convex side of gem. Female head in profile, facing left, wearing stylized hairstyle: corkscrew curls hang down her neck and in front of her ears forming a double layer fringe along her forehead; half of the curls are gathered back into a bun. She wears a ribbon or fillet with the symbol of Isis (the sun set between a pair of cow horns); the ends of the fillet have three small tassels and emerge from the bun and hang down among the curls on her neck. She has a full chin and fleshy neck, pronounced nostril, and a slight bump at the end of her nose. Inscribed ‘LYKOMEDES’ along the side of stone at the back of the head.


Count Michel Tyszkiewicz Collection (according to J. D. Beazley, The Lewes House Collection of Ancient Gems, no. 95: said by Froehner to have been found in Phoenicia; but Naoum Mitri of Rhodes told John Marshall in 1905 that he had sold it to Tyszkiewicz and had bought it from a peasant at Adana near Tarsos.); June 8-10, 1898: auction of the M. Tyszkiewicz Collection, Hotel des Commissaires-Priseurs, 9 rue Drouot, Paris, lot 292. By 1926, Edward Perry Warren; April 5, 1926: loaned to MFA by Edward Perry Warren (as 52.26); November 17, 1927: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 161,000 (this figure is the total price for MFA 27.647-27.761).

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1912