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Lot 779: Bronze Age Gold 'Ring Money' Adornment

Antiquities: Day 2

by TimeLine Auctions

December 7, 2016

Harwich, United Kingdom

Live Auction
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Description: Early 1st millennium BC. A heavy penannular gold round-section hoop with butted ends. Cf. Clarke, D.V, Cowie, T.G, and Foxon, A. Symbols of Power at the Time of Stonehenge, Edinburgh, 1985, for a discussion on Bronze Age gold objects. 6.14 grams, 16mm (3/4"). Property of a Suffolk lady; acquired on the UK art market. Before the introduction of struck coinage into ancient Europe, copper and gold rings were used as currency and were often worn on clothing or tied together by ropes. The process of bartering may have facilitated the introduction of ring money. Another theory is that they are clothes fasteners with examples being found in the Beaker Period burial mounds in the Wessex area of South Britain.

Condition Report: Very fine condition.

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