This is a nice example of an early medieval / Byzantine signet ring, dating to the 6th - 8th century A.D. It is decorated with a raised button bezel, engraved with a design of 'two men in a boat'. The shape of the vessel would indicate a freshwater fishing boat (such as a Coracle), rather than a seafaring longboat. During the Roman period early Christians used simple designs of fish or anchors to identify with eachother, later Roman and Byzantine missionaries used fishing boats, or nets as a metaphor for their role as 'Fishers of men'. I would date this ring to the post-Roman period, the design and shape of the ring being a Byzantine type. A nice and wearable example.
OBJECT: Signet Ring
CULTURE: Early Medieval / Byzantine
DATE: c. 6th - 8th century A.D.
RING SIZE: 7 (US) O (UK)
SIZE: 23mm x 20mm x 3mm (bezel 11mm x 10mm x 4mm)
WEIGHT: 3.70 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. European Private Collection
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