Byzantine Gold Ring with the Ascension of Christ
6th - 7th century A.D.
Gold and Niello
H: 2.5 cm
Dia: 2.1 cm
The octagonal ring is decorated with a Greek inscription made in niello: “Because you alone, my God, has inhabited me with in Hope”. The frame of the bezel is engraved with another Greek inscription enhanced with niello: “Lord, because your are God, save me”. In spite of its small size, the upper part of the ring is the base for an elaborate and important scene in Christian iconography. In the lower part, the virgin, accompanied by the 12 apostles, looks up towards the upper scene, where Christ, surrounded by a “mandorla”, and flanked by cherubs and seraphims, is ascending to heaven.
Art market, prior to 1981;
Ex-property of British collection acquired in 1981.
PRICE J., “Masterpieces of Ancient Jewelry, exquisite objects from the cradle of civilization”, Philadelphia, 2008, p.89