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Viking Solid Heavy Gold Braided Figure Ring

Description: For sale is an ancient Scandinavian Viking gold finger ring which is formed of four lengths of circular-sectioned gold wire, which have been plaited to form the band and then beaten together at their lower edge to form a thick section hoop. Rings of this type tend to be ascribed a 9th to 10th century date and are relatively rare, though parallels for this piece can be found. Several plaited rings are published by Oman (1974, p. 82, figs. 12B-D) of probable similar date, while three have been reported under the Treasure Act and subsequently recorded on the PAS database (see WILT-C90DD5, NMS-A901E1 and SWYOR-202584). See also examples within the collection of the British Museum- acc. nos. AF.537 and AF.538 (for further information see Graham-Campbell 2011, pp. 259-263) which are ascribed to the same period.

Such rings were a transportable form of bullion wealth, whether used as wedding rings there is very little written account. This ring would certainly be suitable for a man, its construction and hefty use of gold would indicate this. The ring is a good excavated example with no damage or restoration. An ideal ancient ring to be worn again today.

In Scandinavian society during the Viking Age, where men lived and died by their honor, great importance was paid to the idea of gifting: for the Vikings finger rings were not merely ornamental. Rings were often used to cement bonds of loyalty between a lord and his warriors and followers. Bestowing such gifts was a demonstration of wealth and power.

A very fine piece of Viking jewellery.

Extremely fine condition, complete and wearable.

Date: 9th- 10th Century A.D.

Provenance: Ex. British private collection, acquired 1990s.

Size: UK: W1/2 ;

Internal Diameter: 2.2cm

Weight: Heavy! 12.5g in 22ct or higher solid gold!


Additional information

Antiquity Type

Time Period