Magical Amulet Ring Three Magi Inscribed
This is a fabulous medieval magical silver finger ring, dating to the 14th century. The ring is entirely inscribed in Lombardic and Black Letter script, with the names of the three kings or magi, "kaspar * balthasar * melchior". The inscription starts with a blank space and each word is separated by a small star. For a similar but fragmentary ring see NMS-6FA0F0 or AF.1017 in the British Museum. The names of the Three Kings were thought to be especially efficacious against epilepsy and fever; their popularity owed much to that of the Shrine of the Three Kings at Cologne. The names are found engraved on both rings and brooches. The second part of the inscription on the outer band reads: "AGLA ZUYDESC" / "GOG VON GOG AGV BER ANG". The first part, A.G.L.A. is a magical formula and stands for "Thou Art Mighty Forever O Lord". The rest of the inscription would, therefore, be of a magical significance, the meaning of which is often lost through time. Although it can be researched with the right knowledge of magical spells.
Text from Dalton 1912, Catalogue of Finger Rings
The names of the Magi, or Three Kings, do not occur in the Canonical or Apochryphal Gospels; it has been suggested that they may be of Mithraic origin, and that they may be borrowed from titles of Mithras as 'the White One', 'the King of Light', 'the Lord of Treasures' (C.W. King, Arch. Journ. xxvi, p. 234). They were supposed to be of especial efficacy against falling sickness, though the Stockholm MS. (see under no. 866) includes them in a long charm against fever (Archaeologia, xxx, p. 400).
This ring is a wonderful example, with a deeply cut and well-designed script (clearly the work of a Goldsmith). Sadly the original seam has opened up, this can be closed and soldered by a competent jeweller, but I have decided to leave it as found. As it is, the ring is wearable, it is solid, of good metal and free from cracks or splits. A superb and highly desirable ring for the connoisseur, collector or mage!
OBJECT: Amulet Ring
DATE: c. 1320 - 1390A.D.
RING SIZE: 9 (US) R 3/4 (UK)
SIZE: 25mm x 4mm
WEIGHT: 4.1 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. Private Collection, France.