Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Frankish Ring

Finger Ring

Finger Ring with a Cross, 450–525 Frankish Gold sheet with filigree and granulation, cloisonné cells inset with garnet and mother-of-pearl; Diam. 7/8 in. (2.1 cm) Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.192.229) Rings were generally worn by men and women of high rank, although some—with monograms or names—served as seals for impressing documents. Most were purely decorative in nature, sometimes, as in this case, using Christian symbols. This ring, with its elegant pattern of filigree and granulation on the band and its striking use of garnet and mother-of-pearl on the bezel, is exceptional in both decoration and material and demonstrates the sophistication of Frankish metalwork from an early date.