Ring thumbnail 1
Ring thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Ring

c.1550 BC - c.1077 BC (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Gold with a glazed composition scarab
Brief Description
Ring, gold with a revolving oval bezel in the form of a blue glazed composition scarab, Egypt, likely New Kingdom
Physical Description
Gold ring with a revolving bezel in the form of a blue glazed composition scarab. The shoulders of the band are bound with wire. The underside of the scarab is unmarked.

Dimensions
  • Diameter: 2.4cm
  • Height: 1.0cm
Height of bezel
Styles
Credit line
Wallis Bequest
Production
The gold band may be a more modern addition.
Summary
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.



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.
Collection
Accession Number
M.39-1963

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record createdJune 24, 2009
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