Byzantine Gold ring with the Ascension of Christ
Period: 6th - 7th century A.D.
Material: Gold and Niello
Dimensions: H: 2.5 cm, D: 2.1 cm
Ex-property of British collection, collected to 1981
The octagonal ring is decorated with a Greek inscription made in niello: “Because you alone, my God, has inhabited me with in Hope”. He 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.
PRICE J., “Masterpieces of Ancient Jewelry, exquisite objects from the cradle of civilization”, Philadelphia, 2008, p.89