C. 1100-1300 AD. Byzantine. A beautiful gold ring with a D-shaped hoop, pronounced shoulders and a flattened elliptical bezel. The bezel bears an elaborate punched motif depicting a male saint in a frontal pose. The saint is depicted wearing a mitre, backed by a halo, and holding a crozier (a staff of clerical office), probably reflecting his status a man of the church. Saints were a major part of Christian faith under the Byzantine Empire, the direct descendent of the Roman Empire in the East, where it centred on Constantinople. Thousands of saints were known in the Byzantine world, usually men and women, who, through their incredible deeds in life, were considered to be favoured by the Christian God. These individuals were considered to have the power to intercede with the divine on the behalf of living mortals and in doing so could provide protection from harm or misfortune. This gorgeous item would have been a fitting article of faith for a pious Byzantine soldier.
Excellent condition; wearable.
Size: UK: O 1/2 US: 7 1/4
Provenance: Property of a W. L. G. ; previously in a collection formed on the UK/International art market in the 1980s.