Greek Gold Ring with Turtle

£ 3,500.00

A beautiful gold ring with a high relief image of a turtle. The turtle has splayed legs, a small head, and a detailed shell, set below a clear glass cabochon. This is turn is set on a wide D-section band, with recessed body and central rib running to oval bezel.

Internal diameter: 1.626 cm: UK ring size H.

Date: Circa 4th Century BC
Condition: Excellent condition


SKU: AS-3179 Category: Tags: , ,

The turtle, which decorates the ring in delicate high relief, had several different meanings. In Greek, the name for a turtle is ‘Khelone’: according to Greek mythology, Khelone was a nymph who spurned the wedding invitation of the gods, Zeus and Hera, because she preferred to stay at home. As her punishment, she was changed into a turtle and as such condemned to carrying her home forever on her back.

The turtle was also used on the earliest forms of coinage, as a symbol for the Greek island of Aegina. As a sea-faring island, the inhabitants of Aegina desired a symbol that emphasised their marine way of life, and so the turtle was the perfect choice. It was also used as a symbol of the goddess Aphrodite, who had a temple on the Greek island. Coinage from Aegina also used the repoussé technique

It is reasonable to assume that this ring was made to be worn. Its wearer could have had with connections to Aegina, or perhaps wished to invoke the protection of the goddess Aphrodite or Khelone.

Weight 11.6 g



Greek Mythology

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