Medieval gold ring by Unknown Artist

This delicately decorated gold ring was unearthed in 2011 close to a former bishop’s dwelling in the north of the Isle of Man.

Details

Medium:
gold
Dimensions:
2.1cm inner diameter
Art Fund grant:
£1,000 ( Total: £1,000)
Acquired in:
2015
Vendor:
Robert Farrer

Its design and location suggest it may have belonged to a high-ranking medieval church official. The Isle of Man has its own bishop – the Bishop of Sodor and Man – a title that dates back to AD1000 when the island was part of the archdiocese of Trondheim in Norway. In 1266 the island was absorbed into Scotland and became a strategic prize in the wars between Scotland and England. During this period church officials were the most important people on the island and this ring is a symbol of that wealth and power. A flower and dot pattern decorate the areas either side of the bezel and the claw setting – bent in antiquity – would have held a stone. The ring can be chronologically associated with coin hoards and other finds and may have been buried for safekeeping. As a medieval item of ecclesiastical personal adornment of such precious metal content, it is unique among the Manx national collections.

Provenance

Reported discovery by metal detectorist from site with relevant history.

Venue details

Manx Museum Manx National Heritage, Kingswood Grove, DOUGLAS Isle of Man IM1 3LY 01624 648000 www.storyofmann.com

Entry details

Free to all

Mon – Sat, 10am – 5pm

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