Scaraboid gem with Theseus wrestling a sow

Greek
Classical Period
mid-5th–mid-4th century B.C.


Catalogue Raisonné

Lewes House Gems, no. 061 (1920; 2002, additional published references).

Dimensions

Length x width: 24 x 19 mm (15/16 x 3/4 in.)

Accession Number

21.1205

Medium or Technique

Carnelian

On View

Anne and Blake Ireland Gallery (Gallery 210A)

Collections

Jewelry, The Ancient World

Classifications

Scarabs and scaraboids

Intaglio. Set in modern gold bezel. Motif cut on the convex side of the scaraboid. Motif oriented vertically. Thesesus, naked, wrestling with a sow. His hat (petasos) hangs at the back of his neck. His left foot is on the ground, while he presses his right knee into the sow’s back, and he appears to be withdrawing a trident from the sow’s neck. The seal is broken at the bottom, obscuring the sow’s head, snout, and legs.

Provenance

By date unknown: Count Michel Tyszkiewicz Collection (according to J. D. Beazley, The Lewes House Collection of Ancient Gems, no. 61: Tyszkiewicz said he obtained it from Greece: it is further known that he had it from Rhousopoulos.); by date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren; April 7, 1921: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for
$ 30,000.00 (this figure is the total purchase price for MFA 21.1193-21.1221)

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1912