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LOT 0013

Sold for (Inc. bp): £16,120

NEW KINGDOM, 1550-1077 BC
1" (6.66 grams, 24mm overall, 21.26 x 18.05mm internal diameter (approximate size British P, USA 7 3/4, Europe 16.55, Japan 16)).

A gold hoop formed as two parallel rods, scaphoid bezel with beaded outer edge, cells with inlaid stones in red (jasper), green and blue (lapis lazuli) forming a design of an opposed pair of papyrus plants.

Property of a Mayfair gentleman; acquired by the family during the 1970s. Supplied with a positive X-Ray Fluorescence metal analysis certificate.

Accompanied by an Art Loss Register certificate.

See the Walters Art Gallery for two similar rings, accession number VO.77 (57.1474, 57.1475)

The technique of inlaying objects, especially jewellery, was developed to perfection in ancient Egypt, with the art being much imitated by neighbouring civilisations. The Egyptians used a range of materials for inlaying their jewellery, from glass to semi-precious stones, such as lapis lazuli that was imported from far-off Afghanistan. Many of the craftsmen were employed to create masterpieces that were destined for the royal courts, the wealthy and also the temples; the gods were decorated in jewellery comparable to that worn by the Pharaoh. Many of the workshops of the jewellers were on the grounds of important temple complexes as it was the Pharaoh who controlled the supply of gold and precious materials, plus many of the temples had the added advantage of being secure compounds that were heavily guarded. This ring represents the very fine and high level of skill that the jewellers of Egypt possessed during the New Kingdom, a time when Egypt reached its zenith. The high quality in this ring can be compared to pieces found in the intact royal burial of the three princesses of Tuthmosis III, as well as Tutankhamun. The closest parallel to this ring is one belonging to Ramesses II, found at Saqqara, which is similarly decorated with opposed inlaid lotus flowers, as well as two examples now in the Walters Art Gallery. The lotus was much prized by the Egyptians for its beauty, scent and for its symbolism of rebirth.