The J. Paul Getty Museum

Engraved Gem

Object Details

Title:

Engraved Gem

Artist/Maker:

Unknown

Culture:

Roman

Place:

Afghanistan; Mediterranean (Place Created)

Date:

2nd–4th century A.D.

Medium:

Yellow jasper

Object Number:

85.AN.444.3

Dimensions:

0.9 × 1 × 0.4 cm (5/16 × 3/8 × 1/8 in.)

Credit Line:

Gift of Jonathan H. Kagan

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Object Description

Octagonal gem with flat surfaces on both sides. On the obverse, a crab, seen from above, with pincers extended and eyestalks protruding forward. On reverse, inscribed in Greek: ΒΑΡΧΑ, part of a magical word [ΒΑΡΧΑI] often incised on the reverse of crab motif gems. On facets, with one letter per side and with one side blank: Α/Ε/Η/Ι/[Ο?]/Λ/Μ.

Provenance
Provenance
- 1985

Jonathan H. Kagan (New York, New York), donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1985.

Bibliography
Bibliography

"Acquisitions/1985." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 14 (1986), p. 199, no. 83.

Michel, Simone. Die magischen Gemmen im Britischen Museum, vol. 1. (London: British Museum Press, 2001), p. 63.

Michel, Simone. Die Magischen Gemmen. Zu Bildern und Zauberformeln auf geschnittenen Steinen der Antike und Neuzeit. (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2004), p. 303, 33.1.a, pl. 66, 2.