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Gold finger-ring: bezel an applied circular frame containing a cloisonné garnet inlay in each quadrant (one now missing) around central cabochon; four peripheral pairs of collared cabochon glass settings at each right angle (two settings missing); hoop a triangular section strip soldered to back.
The base-plate of the bezel consists of a single circular sheet with four pairs of projecting lobes in a cruciform arrangement to support eight cylindrical collets. The wall of the bezel is formed by a single strip soldered to the base-plate. Each of the eight cylinders is independently soldered to the base-plate, to the wall of the bezel and to its pair. Not all of the collets have soldered seams.
At the centre of the bezel is a cabochon glass inlay in a circular cell. The bezel is further divided into four quadrants, each cell containing a cloisonné garnet which is roughly cut. There is a plain gold foil beneath each of the garnet plates. The cell walls do not extend to the full depth of the bezel. The junctions of the central cell walls are soldered and the tops are burred over to secure the stones.
There are four pairs of cabochon settings in the cylindrical collets. The original inlays were all possibly garnets, but are now pink and yellow glass. Several of the stones, including the central cabochon and two of the cloisonné garnets, are held by wax (probably beeswax) which, together with gypsum, fills the cavity.
The hoop consists of a strip, triangular in section and slightly oval in plan. The ends are lap-jointed where they are flattened and soldered off-centre beneath the base-plate of the bezel. The axis of the hoop to the bezel deviates slightly from a right angle.
One of the four garnet plates in the bezel is missing. The other inlays are damaged and some of them are possibly not original. The base-plate is damaged and one of the cabochons is missing.
- Excavated/Findspot: Kerch
- Width: 20 millimetres (bezel at hoop)
- Width: 19 millimetres (across)
- Height: 24.5 millimetres
- Weight: 5.18 grammes
GHA 1987. Germanen, Hunnen und Awaren. Schätze der Völkerwanderungszeit. Verlag des Germanischen Nationalmuseum. Nuremburg. (Kidd) 110, ill. I,16.i.
A very similar ring, probably from the same workshop, was found in a Germanic aristocratic grave at Dunapataj-Bödpuszta (‘Bakodpuszta,’ Hungary). According to Kiss it was made in one of the Late-Antique workshops of the Black Sea area, and such rings were worn by members of the Scirian ruling family in the second third of the 5th century. Bierbrauer dated it to the mid to second half of that century. There is a similar ring from the Kuban region (south Russia) with a circular bezel and peripheral cylindrical collets. Another, broadly similar ring in the British Museum (P&E AF.493) with a garnet-inlaid circular bezel enriched with granulation, is dated to the 6th century and said to be Ostrogothic. According to Bóna these rings appear from the second half of the 5th century. Aibabin  considers this type of ring as a unique find in the Crimea. They are Germanic objects of the second half of the 5th century and were imported to the Crimea.
1. Fettich N. 1951, Régészeti tanulmányok a késoi hun fémmuvesség történetéhez. Arch. Hung. XXXI. pl. XVIII:3,3a
Bóna I. 1968, A bakodpusztai germán királyno˝. Die germanische Königin von Bakodpuszta. In: A népek országútján. (Auf der Landstraße der Völker). Budapest.125 (who considers it as Scirian)
2. Kiss A. 1983, Die Skiren im Karpatenbecken, Ihre Wohnsitze und Ihre Materielle Hinterlassenschaft. Act. Arch. Hung. 35, 95–131. 95–131; Garam E. and Kiss A. 1992, Népvándorlás kori aranykincsek a Magyar Nemzeti Múzeumban. Budapest. (See also English trans. L. Boros, Gold Finds of the Migration Period in the Hungarian National Museum)., 12; ills 31, 34
3. Bierbrauer V. 1975, Die ostgotischen Grab- und Schatzfunde in Italien. Centro Italiano di Studi sull‘Alto Medioevo. Studi Medievali VII, Spoleto. 168
4. Kondakov N., Tolstoi J. and Reinach S. 1891, Antiquités de la Russie Méridionale, Paris. 475; ill. 430
5. Museum register
6. Bóna I. 1991, Das Hunnenreich (Budapest-Stuttgart). 291;Bóna I. 1993, A hunok és nagykirályaik. Budapest. 260
7. Aibabin in Andrási 2008 pp.141-150
1988 12 Mar-15 May, Germany, Frankfurt, Kunsthalle Shirn Am Römerberg, Germanen, Hunnen und Avaren
1987 12 Dec-1988 21 Feb, Germany, Nuremberg, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Germanen, Hunnen und Avaren
Prehistory and Europe
- 148 (old catalogue number)
Group of Objects
Gold finger-ring: bezel an applied diamond-shaped frame containing square white paste, a yellow glass cabochon in centre, and border of triangular cloisonné garnet inlays; peripheral pairs of collared red and cream-coloured glass cabochons and pearls at angles (only 1 pair and 2 single settings now remain); granulated shoulders; hoop a band enriched with filigree wires in herringbone pattern and beaded wire borders.
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Object reference number: MCS4097
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