Scaraboid gem with two cranes

Early Classical Period
480–450 B.C.


Length: 20 mm (13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

Anne and Blake Ireland Gallery (Gallery 210A)


Jewelry, The Ancient World


Scarabs and scaraboids

Intaglio. Pierced for stringing (vertical). Motif oriented vertically. Two herons stand facing each other with a silphium plant (an extinct variety of giant fennel) between them. Their beaks are pointed down and wings are half-open. Plant has a flower or bud at the top of the stalk, terminating just below the herons’ beaks; there are three additional tiers of leaves, the second from the bottom with two additional flowers/buds. Herons stand on a partial ground line. Inscribed with the Greek letters ‘gamma,’ ‘omega’ and ‘lambda’ from left to right, between birds’ legs and the plant. Hatched border. Significant portion of seal back is broken.


By date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: From the Evans Coll.); January 2, 1913: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $18,948.70 (this figure is the total price for MFA 13.186-13.245)

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1912