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Ring

Ring

  • Date:

    3rd century or later (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (production)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Bronze

  • Museum number:

    545-1871

  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, room 91, case 4, shelf B, box 1

  • Download image

From the first century AD Romans secured their valuables in locked coffers. Rings with a key attached ro the bezel like this one could be used to open them. Examples have been found in bronze, but also in more precious metals, many of which in Pompei. The type continued in use during the early medieval period.

This very practical function doubled up with a more status related function. Persons wearing these keys were the only one having the right to accees the family money and jewellery. These rings signaled their importance within the household. They were often given to a woman after her marriage indicating her new status.

Physical description

Bronze ring, the bezel in the form of a key.

Date

3rd century or later (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown (production)

Materials and Techniques

Bronze

Dimensions

Height: 2.6 cm, Width: 2.5 cm, Depth: 2.5 cm

Object history note

ex Waterton Collection

Descriptive line

Bronze ring, the bezel in the form of a key, Roman, 3rd century or later

Materials

Bronze

Subjects depicted

Key-rings

Categories

Metalwork; Jewellery

Collection code

MET

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Qr_O122113
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