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

Ring

400-300 BC (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

This gold ring has an oval bezel and a hoop of rounded diamond-shaped cross-section. The design of the intaglio on the bezel is engraved with an elegantly draped woman standing. She wears the chiton and himation dress, sandals and a simple bracelet. Her head is crowned with a polos, a tall cylindrical crown, with a veil. She also holds a sceptre in her left hand. These last two attributes suggests she is a divinity or a queen.
The quality of the engraving is outstanding.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Engraved gold
Brief description
Gold ring, the oval bezel engraved with a figure of a queen or goddess, Greek world, 400-300 BC
Physical description
Gold ring, the oval bezel engraved with a standing female figure, probably a queen or goddess
Dimensions
  • Height: 2.2cm
  • Width: 2.2cm
  • Depth: 1.6cm
  • Weight: 15g
Style
Credit line
Salting Bequest
Object history
George Salting was born in Australia on 15 August 1835, the elder son of Severin Kanute Salting (1805-1865), a wealthy businessman and landowner, and Louisa Augusta, née Fiellerup. Following an education at Eton College, 1848-53, and the University of Sydney, from where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1857, Salting settled in London. In 1858-59 he toured the continent, visiting galleries, churches and architectural monuments. After the death of his father on 14 September 1865, he inherited a fortune estimated at £30,000 per annum and devoted himself thereafter to the study and collecting of works of art including lacquer and Oriental porcelain. Such was the extent of the accumulations that filled his rooms above the Thatched House Club at 86 St James's Street, London, that in 1874 Salting started to deposit items on loan in the South Kensington Museum. The Frederic Spitzer sale of Medieval and Renaissance objects d’art in 1893 resulted in a diversification of Salting’s collecting interests: Italian majolica, bronzes and reliefs, Persian, Damascas and Turkish ware, Limoges enamels, illuminated manuscripts, carved woodwork and tapestries, and Japanese lacquer and European steel and iron.



He died on 12 December 1909 and is buried in Brompton Cemetery, London. Salting bequeathed works to the National Gallery, British Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum. The Trustees of the National Gallery received those works which were already on loan and were also allowed to select those from Salting's Collection which they would like to receive. In total this amounted to 192 works. The pictures were hung in the Gallery in 1911. There were no special conditions attached to the bequest. Salting bequeathed his prints and drawings to the British Museum and a substantial number of objects to the Victoria and Albert Museum. The bequest to the V&A was conditional that the objects would not be distributed over various sections but all kept together. Including three works presented during his lifetime, there are currently 164 works in the National Gallery Collection which have been donated by Salting. In addition, thirty-one of the works bequeathed by Salting are now held by the Tate Gallery.
Production
Greek world, around the Mediterranean
Subject depicted
Summary
This gold ring has an oval bezel and a hoop of rounded diamond-shaped cross-section. The design of the intaglio on the bezel is engraved with an elegantly draped woman standing. She wears the chiton and himation dress, sandals and a simple bracelet. Her head is crowned with a polos, a tall cylindrical crown, with a veil. She also holds a sceptre in her left hand. These last two attributes suggests she is a divinity or a queen.

The quality of the engraving is outstanding.
Bibliographic reference
Lapatin, Kenneth, Luxus: The Sumptuous Arts of Greece and Rome, Los Angeles: Getty, 2015.
Collection
Accession number
M.552-1910

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

Record createdMarch 31, 2006
Record URL
Download as: JSONIIIF Manifest