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Flattened cylinder seal with cow

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Stone is streaked with white. Intaglio. Pierced for stringing (horizontal). Cow facing right, turns head back to left to nuzzle suckling calf, who is facing left. The cow has rippling lyre horns and an elevated tail; as she turns back to lick bull calf her entire chest and front legs face backward.


By dates unknown: from Crete, in the possession of the schoolmaster at Chersonesos in Crete; Evans collection; purchased in Paris by Edward Perry Warren in 1911 (provenance according to J. D. Beazley, The Lewes House Collection of Ancient Gems, no. 5); April 5, 1926: loaned by Edward Perry Warren to MFA (as 78.26); November 17, 1927: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 161,000.00 (this figure is the total price for MFA 27.647-27.761)

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1912

Early Aegean, Minoan, Late Minoan II-III A Period, about 1490–1300 B.C.

Catalogue Raisonné

Lewes House Gems, no. 005 (1920; 2002, additional published references).


Length: 20 mm (13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique



The Ancient World