Gold rings from the Thetford treasure

Roman Britain, 4th century AD
Thetford, Norfolk

These twenty-two finger-rings form part of a remarkable hoard of late-Roman gold jewellery and silver tableware found near Thetford, Norfolk, in 1979.

The jewellery, most of which is in pristine, unused condition, clearly shows the late-Antique taste for elaboration and bright colour which had been evolving since the third century AD. The stylistic links between individual items suggest that most were the products of a single workshop, quite possibly in Britain.

Some of the rings are of familiar late-Roman types, but others are of exceptionally original and flamboyant design. They are set with garnets, emeralds, amethysts, various forms of semi-precious hardstone and glass; many small settings were evidently loose and were not recovered when the hoard was found. The engraved gems are of earlier date than the goldwork, and had been re-mounted from older pieces of jewellery. The rings with shoulders in the form of dolphins and birds are particularly interesting.

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More information

Bibliography

C.M. Johns and T. Potter, The Thetford Treasure: Roman j (London, The British Museum Press, 1983)

Dimensions

Museum number

P&EE 1981 2-1 2-23

BCB87804;BCB87805;BCB87806;BCB87807;BCB87808;BCB87809;BCB87810;BCB87811;BCB87812;BCB87813;BCB87814;BCB87815;BCB87816;BCB87817;BCB87818;BCB87819;BCB87820;BCB87821;BCB87822;BCB87823;BCB87824;BCB87825

Treasure Trove

Location

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