Scarab with two sphinxes at sacred tree

Near Eastern, Levantine, Phoenician
6th century B.C.


Length: 18 mm (11/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Jewelry, The Ancient World



Two rampant sphinxes flanking sacred tree with front paw on flower bud on the ground. Their heads are thrown back to drink or smell from buds drooping from the top palmette. Groundline. Single line border. Back carved as a beetle with a low profile and carinated back. Single line separating thorax from elytra, and in between elytra. Broad, flat front legs with notches. Simple incisions for back legs. Low, plain plinth. Cracked in the middle; small and large chips missing around the edges. Onyx with white and reddish bands. Scarab with a flat, oval base engraved in intaglio; pierced lengthwise.


By date unknown: Count Michel Tyszkiewicz Collection; 1898: auction of the M. Tyszkiewicz Collection, Hotel des Commissaires-Priseurs, 9 rue Drouot, Paris, June 8-10, lot 254 (said to have been found in Cyprus); by date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren; purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, 1901

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution