- Museum number
Chalcedony stamp-seal with irregular form as flattened dome with groove round circumference, and reverse shaped as cameo portrait; perforated with holes for suspension. The flat surface is engraved with male bust to left (right when impressed), who wears cap edged with strokes; hair and beard rendered in similar technique; double earring and bust edged with five stars; above is a male winged 'cupid' holding a necklace of pearls; behind him is a star and in front a band of six chevrons; upper right; part of an inscription and on either side cockerel above hind-part of uncertain animal; the Pahlavi inscription is on the upper left.
- Production date
Height: 3.90 centimetres (face)
Thickness: 2 centimetres
Width: 3.70 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- This cameo belongs to a group of cupids, baby faces and heads that belong to Roman manufacture of the 1st century AD. Another example is a facing Eros head carved from reddish brown pyrope (garnet), 11.7 x 9.5 x 5.5 mm, in Malibu (cf. J. Spier, 'Ancient Gems and Finger Rings: Catalogue of the Collections', The J. Paul Getty Museum, no. 434, acc. no. 83.AN.437.42, from Asia Minor). Also compare Bonhams 12/12/95, lot 191. The BM piece fits even more narrowly within a group of Roman military phalerae carved from light blue-gray chalcedony (cf. A. Kobolov, A. Melnitchuk, and N. Kulyabina, “The Roman military phalera from the Perm Urals,” Arheološki vestnik 52 (2001), pp. 351–57.
O. Neverov made the attribution of the Perm phalera; the catalogue in the article lists the 29 other phalerae in the group. The engraving on the back, which was catalogued as Late Sasanian by Bivar, is therefore clearly a much later addition to a 1st century AD Roman cameo carving. It is a rather interesting but by no means unique illustration of reuse and adaptation which Kobolov et al. describe in their article.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1995-2005 17 Nov-5 Dec, BM, G52/IRAN/19
1994 16 Jun-23 Dec, BM, G49/IRAN
- Acquisition date
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: 1967,0220.257 (additional registration no.)