Scarab with Aktaion and a dog by a fountain

Italic, Etruscan
Classical Period
450–400 B.C.


Length: 16 mm (5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Jewelry, The Ancient World


Scarabs and scaraboids

Deep, almost opaque, brownish red carnelian. Scarab with a flat, oval base engraved in intaglio; pierced lengthwise. Youthful Aktaion in ¾ view but head in profile to left, in the process of seating on or standing from a chair in profile. He holds the leash of a dog facing him with his extended right hand. Drapery covers his genitalia and wraps around his free arm. In the background a fountain with a lion-headed spout pours water into a container on the ground. A star below the spout. Etruscan inscription ATAIUN behind the youth’s head. Back carved as a beetle with a hatched line around the thorax and three lines dividing the elytra. Winglets are shown in relief. Naturalistic legs with spined front legs. Plinth with tongue pattern. Small chip missing at the feet of the chair.


Alfred Morrison (b. 1821 - d. 1897), London; June 29-30, 1898, posthumous Morrison sale, Christie, Manson and Woods, London, lot 48, to Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: Morrison sale, no. 48); 1898: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 69,618.13 (this figure is the total price for MFA 98.641-98.940)

Credit Line

Henry Lillie Pierce Fund