Scarab with Hercle/Herakles holding the heavens

Italic, Etruscan
Classical Period
late 5th–early 4th century B.C.

Catalogue Raisonné

Lewes House Gems, no. 088 (1920; 2002).


Legacy dimension: 0.017 L.

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Jewelry, The Ancient World


Scarabs and scaraboids

Deep, almost opaque, orange-red carnelian. Scarab with a flat, oval base engraved in intaglio; pierced lengthwise; set in a modern golden twisted pendant mount. Nude Hercle/Herakles in frontal view but head in profile to right, holding the heavens over his right side. At right, his club, on which hangs a quiver, is planted into a rocky outcropping. A bow behind his right leg. A branch or tree at left. Uneven groundline with a bunch of grass. An Etruscan inscription in negative “Hercle” runs vertically at right. Cable border. Back carved as a beetle with a hatched border around the thorax and a line dividing the elytra. Chevrons indicate winglets. Plastic but simplified legs with spined front legs. Plinth decorated with hatched diamond shapes. Small chips missing around the head and plinth.


By 1911: with Edward Perry Warren (according to J. D. Beazley, The Lewes House Collection of Ancient Gems, no. 88: Bought in Rome, 1911.); April 5, 1926: loaned to MFA by Edward Perry Warren (as 102.26); November 17, 1927: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 161,000.00 (this figure is the total price for MFA 27.647-27.761)

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1912