Lot 54: Late Roman Key Ring
November 30, 2016
Boston, MA, USALive Auction
Description: Possibly 4th century AD
Rings with projecting bezels were inspired by bronze key rings, thought to open small boxes (or marriage caskets) in use from the 1st century A.D. up to the early medieval period. The present example (the key element decorative and no longer functional) is unusual because it combines Christian iconography with personal initials. The bezel is engraved with an ajour Greek cross crowning a flat band and inscribed with the letters LVR. The bezel is bordered on each side by a projecting circular band (right side repaired), the top of the bezel crenellated. Such rings are thought to symbolize marriage or betrothal and were worn by Roman brides to signify their role in household management.
Please note that this lot has a reserve and is part of a live auction with attending bidders. When you leave a bid in advance of the auction, submit your maximum. Invaluable will bid on your behalf as much as necessary to ensure that you meet the reserve price or that you remain in the lead, up to your maximum. The bidder who has submitted the highest bid wins the lot, provided the bid exceeds the reserve price.
Provenance: S.J. Phillips, London, c. 2000; previously property of a gentleman.
Dimensions: Bezel 11 x 18 x 2 mm.; circumference 49.3 mm.; US size 5; UK size J ??