- Museum number
Gold finger-ring: bezel comprising a coin (solidus) of Emperor Marcian in high opus interrasile collar. Obverse: bust facing, helmeted, cuirassed and diademed, holds spear over right shoulder and shield. Reverse: Victory standing to left, supporting long jewelled cross. Solid hoop moulded in form of two crouching hares facing up to bezel and appearing to issue from the mouths of dolphins; back of hoop set with cabochon garnet. Openwork.
- Production date
- 5thC (coin)
Height: 3.60 centimetres
Width: 3.20 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Text from Ward, Cherry et al ,'The Ring from Antiquity to the Twentieth Century', London 1981
Unlike most of their later counterparts, the goldsmiths of the ancient world were often ready to recognize that the human hand has a palm as well as a back, and that both sides stood in need of decoration. It is not uncommon, therefore, to find a suitably small jewel set on the underside of the hoop, opposite the bezel (Pl. 55), which would be displayed when the palm was extended. In this case, the cabochon garnet at the back of the hoop supplies the only touch of colour. The projecting open-work bezel holds a coin of the Emperor Marcian (AD 450-7) with the obverse displayed (see also Pl. 61); the shoulders of the hollow hoop are ornamented, in a delightful touch of fantasy, with a pair of crouching hares, lightly modelled in low relief.
An incorrect registration number is given in the book.. F. 130 should read AF 307. 130 is the Dalton 1912 number.
Select details from unpublished Summary Catalogue by Marion Archibald, John Kent and Nicholas Lowick, Department of Coins and Medals, British Museum. no. 736.
'Gold solidus of Marcian (450-457):
Obv. D N MARCIA-NVS.P.F.AVG; bust facing, helmeted, cuirassed and diademed; holds spear over right shoulder, and shield
Rev. VICTOR-AAVGGG 1*
CONOB Victory standing to left, supporting long jewelled cross
Ref. Longuet H., 'Introduction a la numismatique byzantine', pl. 1:2, London 1961'.
Comment from Kidd, Haith & Ager ‘Summary Catalogue’ (draft MS)
from River Seine at Rouen, dp. Seine Maritime, France
DALTON O.M. 1911. Byzantine Art and Archaeology. Oxford, p. 541 no. 210
CABROL F. and LECLERCQ H. 1930. Londres, Dictionnaire d'Archéologie Chrétienne et de Liturgie, IX part 2, col. 2402, fig. 7187
ALENSTAM-PETERSSON B. 1951. Ein merowingischer Goldring aus Ksp. Ledberg, Östergötland, Medd Lunds Års IV for 1950-1951, Lund, p. 218, fig. 6:2
JOHNS C. and POTTER T. 1983. The Thetford Treasure, Roman Jewellery and Silver. London, p. 83
- On display (G41/dc18/sA)
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number