This magnificent and heavy ring is from a very small group of rings whose precise origin has been disputed. In the catalogue of the Harari Collection Boardman and Scarisbrick attribute the ring to 15th century Timurid Iran. In the Khalili Collection there are a few related pieces, mostly in silver (Wenzel, M.: Ornament and Amulet: Rings of the Islamic Lands, London, 1993, nos.299-304). Number 302 is particularly close to the present example, both in form and decoration. There however the arabesques spread onto the shoulders as well as decorating the bezel. This group of rings is attributed to 14th or 15th century Anatolia on the basis of similar rings having been found in Turkey and the similarity of some design elements to those of Anatolian carpets of a later date. The implications of the quoted evidence of the similarities of the designs to a silk made for the Ilkhanid ruler Abu Said are passed over. Only on one of the group, no.304, is the possibility of a Persian origin allowed. All sources however agree that the form travelled East, either from an Imperial prototype (Boardman and Scarisbrick quoting Battke, H.: Geschichte des Ringes, 1963) or from the Eastern Mediterranean (Wenzel), thence arriving in Persia.
The condition of the present ring is remarkable. All the enamel is present forming the background to the cast and chased arabesques. This has developed a craquelure. While the enamel is black, the strength of the yellow gold colour makes the eye adjust and therefore read the black as a very rich navy blue; a fortuitous conbination of colours.