5435

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Indonesian Gold Finger Ring Engraved with Sacred Sri Symbols

Java, Indonesia
circa 9th century

outer diameter: 2.7cm, weight: 21.32g, ring size: P (UK), 7 3/4 (US)

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Provenance

from the estate of a Dutch woman who lived in Indonesia until 1975 and who acquired the ring in the decades prior to that.

This fine ring of heavy, solid, high-carat gold has been cast and then the design on the bezel has been engraved. The engraving is of auspicious symbols associated with Sri or Dewi Sri, the deity in the Hindu pantheon also known as Lakshmi, and who on Java became associated with rice and fertility. Accordingly, the wearing of such a ring was thought to bring good luck and plenty.

The hoop has varying thickness consistent with wear that comes from use.

Similar examples are illustrated in Golden Lotus Foundation (2018), Miksic (1990, p. 69), Miksic (1990, p. 80), and Geoffroy-Schneiter (2011, p. 251).

Conventionally, rings of this type are attributed to circa 9th century although similar rings in Golden Lotus Foundation (2018) are given the wider age attribution of 7th-15th century.

Large quantities of gold jewellery and other items have been found in central and East Java dating from this period. It was a time when Buddhism and Hinduism seem to have peacefully co-existed at the same time.

The ring is in excellent, wearable condition.

References

Bremer, S., Goud der Goden: Uitt het oude Java, Wereldmuseum Rotterdam Publishers, 2014.
Geoffroy-Schneiter, B., Asian Jewellery: Ethnic Rings, Bracelets, Necklaces, Earrings, Belts, Head Ornaments, Skira, 2011.
Golden Lotus Foundation et al, Java Gold: The Wealth of Rings, Golden Lotus Foundation, 2018.
Miksic, J., Old Javanese Gold, Ideation, 1990.

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