The CBd
Schwartz - Schwartz on CBd-1759
3. ANS/Osborne (pl. 29, 20)
a:Cock-headed anguipede wearing cuirass and military kilt, holding spear pointing downward in r. hand. No inscription on shield. Snake legs have no coils. Beneath r. arm,  ; beneath shield,  ; beneath legs, IAW.
b:Harpocrates seated r. on lotus with two buds, holding whip in r. hand; l. hand points to nose.
Dark green and red jasper.
It is unusual for the anguipede to hold anything other than a whip in its r. hand. But see Delatte and Derchain 31 (sword) and Kassel 133 (vertical staff). On BM G54 /CBd-624/ the anguipede holds a torch.
Harpocrates should be shown with his finger to his mouth, not to his nose. Perhaps this is merely an engraver’s error. It is uncertain why Harpocrates was originally portrayed with his finger in or near his mouth; taken together with the scalplock, this attitude might simply have indicated his youth. In the Graeco-Roman period, however, it certainly connoted secrecy and mystery (Plutarch, De Iside 68.1378C; Pliny, HN 33.3).
For these two subjects occurring on the same gem, see Delatte and Derchain 134; Goodenough 1100, 1101; Bonner, “Miscellany”31 no. 39 (on this gem Harpocrates also points to his nose); BM G153 /CBd-619/.

31 C. Bonner, "A Miscellany or Engraved Stones,“ Hesperia 1954, pp. 138-57.
Last modified: 2016-02-19 23:36:06

Related objects: 3 item(s)