Scaraboid glass paste with seated sphinx

Classical Period
450–400 B.C.


Length: 19 x 16.76 mm (3/4 x 11/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Glass paste

Not On View


Jewelry, The Ancient World


Scarabs and scaraboids

Clear glass paste. Scaraboid with low dome and intaglio on flat face. A sphinx kneels in profile to right on a ground line. Upon very close inspection, her eye is visible, as well as the polos, or high circular crown, which she wears on her head. There are otherwise no details included, such as feathering of the wing, and the overall effect is quite crude. The surfaces of the glass paste are unpolished, pitted, and worn. It is pierced vertically for mounting or suspension.


Said to have been acquired in Athens; one of a group of gems purchased in Greece or Asia Minor in 1963 by Cornelius C. Vermeule III on behalf of MFA with funds approved in advance by the Trustees; accessioned March 11, 1964

Credit Line

Theodora Wilbour Fund in memory of Zoë Wilbour