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Ring with Inlays

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
Rings

The earliest Egyptian rings were purely decorative, but later rings came to carry significance.


By the Eighteenth Dynasty of the New Kingdom, they were frequently inscribed with the name of a god, a king, or the owner. The most popular type was made of faience and bore the name of the reigning monarch. Archaeologists have discovered thousands of these simple, mold-made rings; they were probably distributed as mementos at religious or state celebrations. Other rings feature protective symbols, including the wedjat-eye. Wealthy members of Eighteenth Dynasty society often wore rings made of inlaid glass or semiprecious stones.
MEDIUM Electrum, glass
  • Reportedly From: Thebes
  • DATES ca. 1479-1292 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY XVIII Dynasty
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 1 3/8 x 13/16 x 1/2 in. (3.6 x 2 x 1.3 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 37.719E
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Ring with Inlays, ca. 1479-1292 B.C.E. Electrum, glass, 1 3/8 x 13/16 x 1/2 in. (3.6 x 2 x 1.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.719E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.719E_37.724E_GrpA_SL4.jpg)
    IMAGE group, unedited master file, 37.719E_37.724E_GrpA_SL4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Electrum and glass finger ring. The shank is a strip of gold to which six pairs of twisted wires are soldered to form a braided ornament. At the shoulder the shank spreads into three narrower strips. The split shoulders are soldered to the bezel and the joints are covered by narrow pieces of the electrum sheet bent into cylindrical sleeves. The bezel consists of a bottom plate to which strips of electrum are soldered on edge to form cells for inlays; it is further embellished with granulation. The inlays are of red and blue glass in imitation of carnelian and lapis lazuli. Condition: Ancient repairs: shank once broken in two and soldered together; where the braid ornament had split open, the loose end was fastened to the underplate by soldering on a rectangular patch. Two short sections of ornament are missing from the shank and a few grains are lost from the bezel. Hole in the bottom plate of the bezel.
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