11 December 2009,
New York, Rockefeller Plaza
Price Realised USD 5,000
A ROMAN SILVER AND NICOLO FINGER RING
CIRCA 2ND-3RD CENTURY A.D.
The hoop solid cast, flat on the interior, and rounded on the exterior, expanding to the broad shoulders, the oval bezel set with a bevelled flat stone, engraved with a parrot on a branch facing left, a Greek inscription above reading, IXTHYC, "fish" in Greek, an acrostic meaning "Jesus Christ Son of God Savior"
5/8 in. (1.6 cm.) wide; ring size 2½
New York +1 212 636 2000
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Hong Kong +852 2760 1766
Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766
G. Max Bernheimer
+1 212 636 2245
Molly Morse Limmer
This 2nd century pagan ringstone of a parrot was Christianized in the 3rd century with the addition of the inscription. The Christian wearer likely interpreted the subject as Noah's Dove, a symbol of resurrection.
North American Private Collection, early 1980s.
J. Spier, Late Antique and Early Christian Gems, Wiesbaden, 2007, no. 177.