Collection online

scarab

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1985,0215.1

  • Description

    Hollow gold scarab ring. The scarab is of sheet gold and the upper die-made part is fairly rudimentary, although the wing cases, central spine, legs, head, eyes and pincers are all discernible. Across the back is a dotted band and there are a number of vertical strips, perhaps intended to imitate some sort of ties from the back of the scarab to the bezel. The hoop is missing (a modern ring was once attached to the scarab, but has been removed).
    The worn base shows, within a border of rope filigree, a figure of Eros playing the pipes. Behind him, on the ground, is a cockerel. Both the Eros and the cock stand on a small flower from which extend two long scrolling tendrils in spiral-beaded wire, ending in a tightly coiled corkscrew tendril. Traces of blue enamel remain in some of the buds among the scrollwork.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 330BC-300BC
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 2.3 centimetres
    • Width: 1.8 centimetres
    • Thickness: 0.8 centimetres
    • Weight: 3.2 grammes
  • Curator's comments

    Williams and Ogden 1994

    A number of gold scarab rings with designs in relief and incuse can be identified as products of South Italy. The filigree corkscrew curls suggest that this ring may be another work by the same jeweller as the oval box pendant from Santa Eufemia (BM GR 1896.6-16.4) and the Avola box-bezel ring (BM GR 1923.4-21.3).
    BIBLIOGRAPHY: Francica, pl. 3; W. Froehner, Collection d'antiquites du comte Michel Tyszkiewicz (Hotel Drouot, 8-10 June 1898), no. 209; S. de Ricci, Catalogue of a Collection of Ancient Rings formed by the late E. Guilhou (1912), no. 53 with pl. 2; Sotheby's, 9 November 1937, lot 67; J. Boardman and D. Scarisbrick, The Ralph Harari Collection of Finger Rings (1977), no. 20 and plate; D. Williams, British Museum Society Bulletin 55 (1987), p. 26; Williams, pl. 39, 1 and 3 (attributed to the Santa Eufemia Master). On other western scarab rings see Williams, pp. 89-90.

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  • Bibliography

    • Williams & Ogden 1994 140; p. 208 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G73/dc71

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1985

  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number

    1985,0215.1

Gold scarab with Eros playing the pipes and with a cock behind him, all in low relief surrounded by filigree decoration.

Gold scarab with Eros playing the pipes and with a cock behind him, all in low relief surrounded by filigree decoration.

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Object reference number: GAA5159

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