Exhibitions/ Art Object

Gold box ring surmounted by a scarab

ca.330–310 B.C.
H.: 1 1/4 in. (3.2 cm)
Gold and Silver
Credit Line:
Purchase, Schultz Foundation Gift, 2010
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 158
From the end of the third millennium B.C., the scarab beetle served as an amulet in Egypt, where it represented the sun god. In the Greek world, beginning in the sixth century B.C., it became the predominant type of gem, cut in carnelian and other hard stones. By the fourth century B.C., the scarab was integrated into gold rings. Here, kneeling Eros on the underside of the bezel may signify that the ring was a love gift and his discrete location suggests the love message was meant primarily for the wearer.
By 1968, collection of Heinz Hoek, Riehen, Switzerland; inherited by one of his grandchildren, William Hoek, Brussels; purchased from W. Hoek by Robert Haber; [until 2010, with Robert Haber and Associates, New York]; acquired in 2010, purchased from Robert Haber and Associates.
Boardman, John. 1970. Greek Gems and Finger Rings: Early Bronze Age to Late Classical. p. 428, London: Thames and Hudson, London.

Williams, Dyfri. 1988. "Three Groups of Fourth Century South Italian Jewellery in the British Museum." Römische Mitteilungen, 95: p. 90.

Boardman, John. 2001. Greek Gems and Finger Rings: Early Bronze Age to Late Classical. p. 446, New York: Thames and Hudson, London.

Picón, Carlos A., Joan R. Mertens, Christopher S. Lightfoot, Dr. Seán Hemingway, and Kyriaki Karoglou. 2012. "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection 2010–2012." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 70(2): p. 10.

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