Art/ Collection/ 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
On the underside of the box, kneeling Eros.

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. The scarab integrated into a gold ring appears in the fourth century B.C. The articulation of the insect and the embellishment of the box reveal craftsmanship of the highest order.
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.

Mertens, Joan R., Dr. 2012. "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2010-2012." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 70(2): p. 10.

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