Scarab with a bust of an African woman

Classical Period
425–400 B.C.

Catalogue Raisonné

Lewes House Gems, no. 052 (1920; 2002, additional published references).


Length: 22 mm (7/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Jewelry, The Ancient World


Scarabs and scaraboids

Intalgio. Set in a modern gold hoop ring. Pierced for stringing (vertical). Motif oriented vertically. Head of an African woman, facing left. Tightly curled hair is tied up and mostly covered by a scarf wrapped around her head. Wearing a beaded necklace, rendered by a row of pellets, and lotus-bud earrings. Significant chips and breaks around edges, including one that has destroyed the eye and forehead. Beetle: Slightly ridged. Hatched border all around the thorax. Elytra separated by two lines curving away from thorax line.


By date unknown: with Charles Newton-Robinson; purchased by Edward Perry Warren from Charles Newton-Robinson in 1901 (according to J. D. Beazley, The Lewes House Collection of Ancient Gems, no. 52); November 21, 1923: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 32,948.27 (this figure is the total purchase price for MFA 23.576-23.594)

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1912