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Silver Ring with Black Coral 'Stone'
Yemen, probably Saada
19th century

height: 4.3cm; ring size: 8.5 (US), O/R (UK); weight: 18.38g

This impressive ring is of solid silver and is set with a black coral 'stone' which most probably was intended to confer on the wearer talismanic or even
medicinal properties.

Such a ring was for a particularly wealthy wearer. The applique granulation work is copious and is laid over applied filigree silver wire work. Such excessive
augmentation was expensive and designed to allow the owner to show-off her wealth.

See van Cutsem (2000, p. 99) for related (though less elaborate) rings from Yemen, and also Ransom (2014, p.63).

This example is among the more impressive of this type that we have seen. There are no obvious losses. It is wearable and stable.

van Cutsem, A.,
A World of Rings: Africa, Asia, America, Skira, 2000.
Ransom, M.,
Silver Treasures from the Land of Sheba: Regional Yemeni Jewelry, AUC Press, 2014.

Provenance: private collection, London.

Inventory no.: 3283

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