Anglo-Saxon Gold & Foiled Garnet Finger Ring
This is a wonderful Anglo-Saxon or Frankish gold and garnet finger ring, dating to the 6th - 7th century A.D. The ring is formed as three gold rings joined as one, each set with a foil backed garnet. The bands are separated by rows of granulation. Each of the garnet cloison's, are backed with a waffle-pattern foil insert. (Similar foiling can be found behind the garnet inlay, on Saxon goldwork in the Staffordshire Hoard). The ring is a little misshapen due to its time spent in the ground, though is intact with all three of the original garnets. This type of ring is very rare, being worn by wealthy and elite members of Anglo-Saxon / Frankish society. The size of this ring would have been suitable for a lady to wear, possibly as a wedding ring or status symbol worn by a ruling elite. During this period most jewelry would have been worn by women, the men displayed their wealth on scabbard fittings and sword hilts (demonstrated by the wealth of Saxon gold objects in the Staffordshire Hoard).
This ring has survived down to us intact, a rare survivor from the age of the Anglo-Saxons. It will be possible to wear this ring again today with great care, though is more suited for a museum display.
OBJECT: Finger Ring
CULTURE: Anglo-Saxon / Frankish
DATE: c. 6th - 7th century A.D.
MATERIAL: Gold & Garnets
RING SIZE: 6 (US) M (UK)
SIZE: 21.46mm x 19.71mm x 2.76mm (bezel 18.62mm x 11.03mm x 3.70mm)
WEIGHT: 2.67 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. Cambridgeshire collection acquired in Europe during the 1970's.