Finger Ring with a Cross

Date: 450–525

Culture: Frankish

Medium: Gold

Dimensions: Overall: 5/8 x 13/16 in. (1.6 x 2.1 cm)
bezel: 5/8 x 5/8 x 1/8 in. (1.6 x 1.6 x 0.3 cm)
band: 13/16 x 1/4 in. (2 x 0.6 cm)

Classification: Metalwork-Gold

Credit Line: Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917

Accession Number: 17.192.229


Rings were generally worn by men and women of high rank, although some—with monograms or names—served as seals for impressing documents. Most were purely decorative in nature, sometimes, as in this case, using Christian symbols. This ring, with its elegant pattern of filigree and granulation on the band and its striking use of garnet and mother-of-pearl on the bezel, is exceptional in both decoration and material and demonstrates the sophistication of Frankish metalwork from an early date.