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Ring

  • Place of origin:

    Egypt (made)

  • Date:

    c. 1391 BC - c. 1077 BC

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Glazed composition, moulded

  • Museum number:

    405-1871

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Rings are known in Egypt from the Middle Kingdom (c.2050 BC – c.1800 BC) onwards. The earliest examples take the form of precious stone scarabs attached to loops of wire, usually bearing royal names and titles, or those of royal women. Soon afterwards, ‘private name’ stone scarabs also emerged, bearing the names or professional titles of particular individuals, or other unique identifiers such as a combination of symbols. These were often again made into rings. It is believed that these either acted as seals, or amulets, or even both. From the middle of the New Kingdom (c.1550 BC – c.1070 BC), rings also began to be mass-produced in glazed composition. Unlike scarab rings, these were not designed to identify particular individuals, and typically displayed bezels with stock designs – divine or protective symbols, or the name of the ruling King.

The decoration on the bezel features an oryx, a symbol of the God Seth.

This ring originally formed part of the collection of Edmund Waterton, a collection of approximately 760 rings designed with the aim of illustrating the history of rings of all periods and types. The majority of the collection was acquired by the Museum in 1871, with a remaining part being acquired in 1899, after Waterton’s bankruptcy forced him to part with it in 1868. The rings were held as security against a loan by the jeweler Robert Phillips for two years, but when Waterton missed an 1870 deadline to repay the loan, Phillips sold the collection to the Museum, having first contacted regarding a possible purchase in 1869.

Physical description

Blue glazed composition ring with an oval bezel featuring a moulded kneeling oryx.

Place of Origin

Egypt (made)

Date

c. 1391 BC - c. 1077 BC

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Glazed composition, moulded

Dimensions

Height: 20 mm, Diameter: 22 mm Band

Object history note

ex Waterton Collection

Descriptive line

Ring, blue glazed composition, Egypt, New Kingdom, mid-Dynasty Eighteen or later

Subjects depicted

Antelope

Categories

Jewellery; Metalwork; Africa

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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