Another of Don Lee's finds, a roman bronze ring with the zoomorphic image of a lion on the bezel.
I've never seen a roman ring with this image before. Celtic influences? I don't think this ring is 4th century, I think it's much earlier, probably first century AD. A rare find indeed.
Condition: Very good. intact with lovely patination and areas of cuprite.
Dimensions: 22 mm (external) 17mm (internal) dia.
Provenance: Ex. Don Lee collection UK, formed between 1950 - 2007. Don's original label attached.
Don Lee was a prolific collector of antiquities and coins. A former school teacher from London, Don made some remarkable finds himself, including a fabulously rare Wuneetton type gold thrymsa while 'mudlarking' on the banks of the river Thames at the age of 76! His collection spanned thousands of years from Stone Age axe heads to Roman glass and Viking brooches. His collection of coins and antiquities was auctioned in the summer of 2007.
One of the most popular Roman antiquities for sale are finger rings. As important then as they are now, there were a huge variety of different types and styles, including wedding rings.
Gold and silver rings were predominately for the wealthy elite and their fingers were often festooned with rings bearing precious gemstones. Everyday Romans wore bronze and iron rings. Seal rings were worn not just for their aesthetic appeal, but served an important practical purpose to seal documents. Every wealthy Roman had his seal as part of his ring. These rings were engraved or set with precious stones bearing the owner's emblem. Other rings had more practical functions, including keys for strongboxes.
Wealthy Romans often wore rings below the knuckle. This might seem odd to us today, but it served to accentuate their display, especially when eating and gesturing at social gatherings.
A common misnomer is where Roman rings are described as 'child's rings' on account of their size. This is often incorrect, as these smaller rings would have fitted nicely below the knuckle, especially on female hands.
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