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Cameo with head of Medusa

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White on gray layered onyx. Cameo, in modern gold setting. The face of the gorgon Medusa looks out in fully-frontal view. Her hair is arranged in wavy locks flowing around her head, atop which are two wings. Next to one of these wings is a snake; its tail is intertwined with a second snake...

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Provenance

By date unknown: Count Michel Tyszkiewicz Collection (said to have been found near Rome, on the Via Appia); 1898: auction of the M. Tyszkiewicz Collection, Hotel des Commissaires-Priseurs, 9 rue Drouot, Paris, June 8-10, lot 277; 1898: with Edward Perry Warren; 1898: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 69,618.13 (this figure is the total price for MFA 98.641-98.940)

Credit Line

Henry Lillie Pierce Fund

Roman, Imperial Period, 2nd–3rd century A.D.

Dimensions

Overall: 5.5 x 6.4 x 1.3 cm (2 1/8 x 2 1/2 x 1/2 in.) Overall (gem, as preserved): 4.2 x 4.3 cm (1 5/8 x 1 11/16 in.)

Accession Number

98.758

Medium or Technique

Onyx

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Jewelry / Adornment, Cameos