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This is an ancient Roman gold finger ring, dating to the 4th - 5th century AD. The shape is known as a 'Brancaster' type, named after the Roman Fort and Norfolk village where the first example was discovered in the mid-19th century, a Brancaster ring is a type of signet ring with a characteristic square or rectangular bezel. This example has a raised bezel soldered onto an octagonal hoop, with a hammered design. The opening is characteristic of another found near King's Lynn, recorded as NMS-065376, again this has a bezel with an open hole, I believe it would have once contained an iron ward to be worn and used as a Roman keyring. The polygonal design of the hoop fits with Henig's type IX, BH-348FD3, BUC-E7B767, and the keyring aspect Guiraud's Type 5a (Guiraud 1989, 191). BM-DE9D93, BM-DE8496. An interesting ring with excellent purity of gold and weight characteristic of late Romano British jewellery.
OBJECT: Finger Ring
DATE: c. 4th - 5th century AD
RING SIZE: 4 1/4 (US) I (UK)
SIZE: 19.06mm x 17.64mm x 6.02mm (bezel 7.06mm x 5.56mm x 3.67mm)
WEIGHT: 5.87 grams
PROVENANCE: Formerly in a private collection, Cambridge.