Medieval Silver Signet Ring Judaica
This is a nice medieval silver signet ring, dating to the 13th century A.D. The bezel is deeply cut with a device of an eagle head turned to face a star. It is cut in a Lombardic script with what appears to read: "+.IaODnis". This could be read as "Jaohnis" for John, or one of the various spellings. The star is quite unusual and clearly represents a six pointed star, or a 'Star of David'. Such a star would have been used to signify the owner to be a Jew or under the authority of a Jewish master. If so the eagle could be seen to be bearing the star, (i.e. the Israelites) in Exodus 19: 4 "and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself" referring to the Jews leaving Egypt as slaves, being led by Moses. Thus this seal with an eagle looking at a star, or bearing the star on its back could, therefore, be referring to this passage in the Torah, i.e the Old Testament? The inscribed name, of the owner or a motto. During this period, the wearing of a silver signet ring of this size of quality would have signified a wealthy owner, but one without the right to bear arms. It could have been owned by a merchant, or banker, moneylender etc - occupations associated with the Jewish community (see here).
The ring is in excellent excavated condition, strong and wearable. A nice piece from an old English collection.
OBJECT: Signet Ring
DATE: c. 13th century A.D.
RING SIZE: 8 1/4 (US) Q 1/2 (UK)
SIZE: 21mm x 23mm x 4mm (bezel 14mm x 2mm)
WEIGHT: 6.4 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. Private Collection, Cambridge.