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Lot 943: Carolingian Gilt Crystal Ring
December 7, 2016
Harwich, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: 9th-10th century AD. A Carolingian or Ottonian flat-section gilt-bronze ring comprising of a hoop with knop to the underside, elliptical bezel with dentilled edge clasping a keeled rock crystal insert. 24 grams, 46mm overall, 20.31mm internal diameter (approximate size British V, USA 10 1/2, Europe 23.77, Japan 22) (1 3/4"). Property of a Middlesex gentleman; acquired in the 1980s. The supposedly magical properties of quartz have been recognised since the Neolithic and Bronze Age, where large quantities of pebbles are often associated with chambered tombs and burial mounds across sites in Britain, the Isle of Man and Ireland. In the Anglo-Saxon and Viking period the beliefs nin the supernatural qualities of the stone continued and examples have been found in a number of contexts associated with burials, such as perforated beads often in the shape of spindle whorls, spheres of rock crystal mounted in metal bands and simple opaque white pebbles. Later Anglo-Saxon manuscripts discuss the virtues of quartz as protecting the wearer from diseases, toothache, lightning and the evil eye. [No Reserve]
Condition Report: Fine condition.