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This “sard gem engraved with two rabbits emerging from a snail-shell, on which is a bird; below is a bird attacking a snake” is in the British Museum (Dept. Greek and Roman Antiquities). It is dated as from the Roman Imperial period [1].


The shell is comparatively large, dextral, with the growth striae emphasised; it has about two whorls.

The occurrence of this ensemble of animals is quite interesting, as it reminds me of the illuminations in medieval manuscripts where snails, birds and rabbits are frequently encountered in each other’s company. Thus this Roman object is a peculiar and interesting find!

[1] BML, inv. [GRA] 1814.0704.1418. http://to.ly/zGmg.