Islamic Gold Ring with Cornelian Bezel with Inscriptions
Islamic, Seljuk period, 12th century A.D.
Gold, carnelian, niello
H: 2.6 cm (H: 1.02 in)
Provenance: Yazdani Gallery, UK, 1993
This gold ring is a particularly fine example of a Medieval Islamic type which has a tapered rectangular bezel set with a dark cornelian engraved gem. The stone bears a calligraphic Kufic inscription below two braided knots. The flat carnelian is set in place by means of four sheet gold prongs. The joints of the ring are reinforced with small applied panels with repoussé scrolls below each claw, on the shoulders and around the hoop, while the underside of the bezel is further decorated with a fine interlace design inlaid with niello. The two longer sides of the bezel also appear to bear brief kufic inscriptions.
This type of ring is best known from Persia, where early examples appear in the 11th century, and, due to their popularity, continue to the late 13th century. Rings similar to ours from hoards found in Central Asia help us date our example to the 12th century A.D.
CONDITION : Complete; some deposits around the bezel; stone slightly weathered.