• Ancient Jewelry  auction at Christies

    Sale 2233

    Ancient Jewelry

    11 December 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 469

    A ROMAN SILVER AND NICOLO FINGER RING

    CIRCA 2ND-3RD CENTURY A.D.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    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


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    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.

    Provenance

    North American Private Collection, early 1980s.


    Literature

    J. Spier, Late Antique and Early Christian Gems, Wiesbaden, 2007, no. 177.