Islamic Gold Filigree Ring with Garnet Cabochon
price 4,200.00$
Islamic, 11th – 12th century

Gold, garnet
D: 1.87 cm (D: 0.74 in)
Provenance: Acquired on the London art market, 1994

Beautiful gold ring formed in repoussé and topped with a garnet cut as cabochon. The ring is decorated with beaded filigree scrolls placed around the ring and on the bezel. The tendrils curl in volutes and are trimmed with gold beads which sometimes are assembled in clusters of three grains. The shape of this ring is very characteristic. It resembles a high collar encircling the cabochon and has a perfect balance between the shape of the ring and its decoration. A careful examination shows that probably a gold leaf was applied to a cast core. This technique is very difficult for the execution and can be observed on some Seljuk jewelry that combine silver core with a gold leaf decoration and filigree. The technique requires the perfect workmanship involving casting, repoussé, granulation, filigree making which would attest the mastery of a goldsmith.

The shape of this ring is an original creation of the great artistic center of the city Nishapur in Khorasan, where the first examples appear in the ninth century. Some examples of such pieces are kept at the Metropolitan Museum of Art which lead the excavations at Nishapur.

CONDITION: Complete except for a small piece of gold which is missing at bezel; some dents and cracks on the interior side of ring; some deposits.


HASSON R., Some Characteristics of Medieval Iranian Jewellery, 1987, pp. 55-61.

JENKINS M., KEENE M., Islamic Jewellery in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, 1983, pp. 17-18, no. 34a.


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