- Museum number
Finger-ring; gold; 'stirrup-shaped' hoop, polygonal in sections, rising to a pointed bezel, set with an irregular six sided sapphire; keeled beneath the bezel.
- Production date
Diameter: 37 millimetres (tallest)
- Curator's comments
- Text from Dalton 1912, Catalogue of Finger Rings:
Bequeathed by the Rev. E.H. Mainwaring Sladen, 1885. Found at Wittersham, Kent.
'This ring is the finest example in the collection of the 'stirrup-shaped' type (cf. nos. 1783-1815). The ring at Chichester Cathedral, said to have belonged to Bishop Hilary (d. 1169) is similar.'
Pencilled note in Dalton:
There is a stirrup-shaped ring illusttrated in a MS in the Public Record Office: Abbreviatio of Domesday Book, 13th century. E 36/284.
Text from Ward, Cherry et al, 'The Ring from Antiquity to the Twentieth Century,' London 1981, pl. 119.
'This is an extremely fine example of the type of decorative ring described as 'stirrup-shaped' from the shape of the hoop. The hoop of chamfered section is circular on the inside, but on the outside it comes to a point at the bezel, which is set with a sapphire so that most of the sapphire is concealed by the bezel. The shape of the ring is emphasised by a raised line leading from the inner side of the ring to the bezel. The strong simple shape of this ring indicates that it was probably an early example of a stirrup ring. It is very similar to a gold ring found in a tomb in Chichester Cathedral that was attributed to Bishop Hilary of Chichester who died in 1169.'
Text from Zarnecki et al 1984, see bibliography.
'This is a representative selection of rings, worn by the very wealthy; contrast the humbler silver rings in the Lark Hill hoard. By the 12th century, bishops and certain privileged abbots were invested with a ring, which they wore as a symbol of marriage to the church. [...] Even more elaborate and sumptuous rings were made in the 12th century, although none has survived.'
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2013 28 Nov - present, Norwich Castle Museum, Norman Connections LT loan
1988 Mar 21-Oct 30, Cardiff, National Museum of Wales, 'Gerald of Wales-the Crusading Priest'
1984 5 Apr-8 Jul, London, Hayward Gallery, English Romanesque Art 1066- 1200
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number