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  • Place of origin:

    cordoba (made)

  • Date:

    1865-1870 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver set with an operculum

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The stone in this ring is the operculum of the shell of a sea-snail from the Mediterranean. These shells have been worn as amulets in many southern European countries since at least Roman times, and they were also popular in southern Germany and Austria. In Spain, they were known as ‘habas’, meaning beans, and were usually used to guard against headaches. They were often worn set in a silver ring, as in this case.

Physical description

Silver ring set with the operculum of a trochus shell. The shank is facetted at the back and splits at the shoulders, which are decorated with engraved lines, to hold the bezel. The operculum is held in a toothed mount which is open at the back.

Place of Origin

cordoba (made)


1865-1870 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Silver set with an operculum


Height: 22.1 mm, Width: 19.8 mm, Depth: 15.4 mm

Descriptive line

Silver ring set with an operculum, Cordoba (Spain), 1865-70.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

For comments on the wearing of opercula in rings, see:
Hildburgh, W.L. 'Notes on Spanish Amulets' in FOLK-LORE Vol. XVIL, 1906


Silver; Shell


Jewellery; Metalwork; Amulets


Metalwork Collection

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