Ring thumbnail 1
Ring thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery

Ring

7th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The square bezel of this ring is engraved with the figure of Christ joining the hands of a couple in marriage. It was made in the Eastern Roman Empire, whose capital Byzantium had legalised Christianity under the Emperor Constantine (reigned 324-337). It forms part of a group of several dozen similar gold rings which combine Christian imagery with the figures of a couple, sometimes inscribed with their names.

Before being acquired by the Museum in 1936, the ring was in the Guilhou collection. Ernest Guilhou (1844-1912) was a collector of snuffboxes, enamels, watches and especially rings. He put together an exceptional collection of 1636 rings, dating from the Etruscan to the 17th century. His heirs sold the collection at auction in 1937. The ring was presented to the V&A by the jeweller Mosheh Oved who was also the owner of the Bloomsbury antiques and jewellery shop, Cameo Corner.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Engraved gold
Brief Description
Gold ring, the projecting square bezel engraved with Christ joining the hands of a husband and wife, Byzantine, 7th century
Physical Description
Gold ring, the projecting square bezel engraved with Christ joining the hands of a husband and wife
Dimensions
  • Height: 2.7cm
  • Width: 2.2cm
  • Depth: 1.1cm
Style
Credit line
Given by Mr Mosheh Oved
Object history
ex Guilhou Collection
Subjects depicted
Summary
The square bezel of this ring is engraved with the figure of Christ joining the hands of a couple in marriage. It was made in the Eastern Roman Empire, whose capital Byzantium had legalised Christianity under the Emperor Constantine (reigned 324-337). It forms part of a group of several dozen similar gold rings which combine Christian imagery with the figures of a couple, sometimes inscribed with their names.



Before being acquired by the Museum in 1936, the ring was in the Guilhou collection. Ernest Guilhou (1844-1912) was a collector of snuffboxes, enamels, watches and especially rings. He put together an exceptional collection of 1636 rings, dating from the Etruscan to the 17th century. His heirs sold the collection at auction in 1937. The ring was presented to the V&A by the jeweller Mosheh Oved who was also the owner of the Bloomsbury antiques and jewellery shop, Cameo Corner.
Bibliographic Reference
Catalogue of the superb collection of rings, including choice examples of all periods from the Egypt of the Pharaohs to the France of Napoleon I, formed by the late Monsieur E. Guilhou of Paris, Sotheby and Co, November 1937, London, cat. 468, pl. XV
Collection
Accession Number
M.184-1937

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record createdMarch 17, 2006
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