Oval gem with the theft of Philoktetes’ weapons

Italic or Modern
Hellenistic Period or Modern
late 3rd–2nd century B.C. or 19th century


Length: 16 mm (5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Jewelry, The Ancient World



Translucent, reddish orange carnelian. Oval intaglio; slightly convex front and back with wall tapering inward; set in a modern brass ring. Philoktetes, nude except for a shaggy animal skin drawn over his head, reclines in a cave, facing right. He fans with a bird wing his bandaged and elevated left foot, around which four flies swarm. Odysseus, wearing a pilos, sneaks above at left and reaches for the bow and quiver hanging from the rocky outcropping. Hatching on the ground. Cable border. Scratched surface.


From the Boulton Collection, sold at auction, Dec. 12th, 1911, according to Warren's records; January 2, 1913: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $18,948.70 (this figure is the total price for MFA 13.186-13.245)

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1912