A Byzantine gilt bronze finger ring featuring a thick, round hoop with a marquise shaped bezel. To one side, the hoop tapers in slightly and then expands outwards towards the bezel. A horizontal cross has been incised on the flat bezel, further enriching the ring.
Closest UK ring size: R
Date: Circa 14th-15th century AD Provenance: Ex M.N collection, 2000's Condition: Fine condition, some patination is visible.
Byzantine jewellery was a full continuation of the Roman traditions. Production in the old jewellery centres of Alexandria and Antioch gave way to an increased production in Constantinople. In the Byzantine Empire jewellery played an important role. It acted as a way to express ones status and as a diplomatic tool. The Church Fathers, such as Clement of Alexandria, discouraged the wearing of any jewellery at all. However, they did permit Christians to wear one ring: rings with the seal of a family, a wedding ring, or rings bearing Christian symbols and inscriptions were deemed acceptable.
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