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Scaraboid Stamp Seal: Heron with Leg Raised

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This red jasper scaraboid stamp seal features an image of a heron standing in profile. The heron stands on one leg and raises the other in front of its chest. Its wing covers most of its body, and its neck forms an S-curve. The face of the seal is hampered by several large cracks. A number of stamp seals feature images of herons (1). Two exquisite examples found in southern Russia are signed by Dexamenos, and several other seals, including this one, are attributed to his workshop (2). However, the closest match to the composition of this seal is provided by a seal impression on a clay bulla found in the Persepolis Treasury (3). Thus the likelihood is that the seal in the Sackler Museum collection was used somewhere in the Persian Empire during the fifth century BCE, if not actually made there. NOTES 1. J. D. Beazley, The Lewes House Collection of Ancient Gems (Oxford, 1920) 59-61. 2. J. Boardman, Greek Gems and Finger Rings: Early Bronze Age to Late Classical (London, 1970) 194-9, nos. 468-9; D. M. Robinson, “Unpublished Greek Gold Jewelry and Gems,” American Journal of Archaeology 57 (1953) 19. 3. E. F. Schmidt, Persepolis II: The Contents of the Treasury and Other Discoveries (Chicago, 1957) pl. 14 (seal no. 67).
Department of Ancient and Byzantine Art & Numismatics Tyszkievicz Collection. David M. Robinson bequest; to the Fogg Art Museum 1960. Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum Bequest of David M. Robinson
Title: Scaraboid Stamp Seal: Heron with Leg Raised
Description:
This red jasper scaraboid stamp seal features an image of a heron standing in profile.
The heron stands on one leg and raises the other in front of its chest.
Its wing covers most of its body, and its neck forms an S-curve.
The face of the seal is hampered by several large cracks.
A number of stamp seals feature images of herons (1).
Two exquisite examples found in southern Russia are signed by Dexamenos, and several other seals, including this one, are attributed to his workshop (2).
However, the closest match to the composition of this seal is provided by a seal impression on a clay bulla found in the Persepolis Treasury (3).
Thus the likelihood is that the seal in the Sackler Museum collection was used somewhere in the Persian Empire during the fifth century BCE, if not actually made there.
NOTES 1.
J.
D.
Beazley, The Lewes House Collection of Ancient Gems (Oxford, 1920) 59-61.
2.
J.
Boardman, Greek Gems and Finger Rings: Early Bronze Age to Late Classical (London, 1970) 194-9, nos.
468-9; D.
M.
Robinson, “Unpublished Greek Gold Jewelry and Gems,” American Journal of Archaeology 57 (1953) 19.
3.
E.
F.
Schmidt, Persepolis II: The Contents of the Treasury and Other Discoveries (Chicago, 1957) pl.
14 (seal no.
67).

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