Finger ring with floral inlay
- 3rd–2nd century BCE
Rings made from sheet gold or gold wire occur in Greek graves dating to the 10th century BCE, and there is constant evidence that simple gold bands or rings were worn as rings in the following centuries. As a result of Egyptian or Phoenician influence, more elaborate forms slowly became popular beginning in the 6th century BCE. The 3rd to 1st centuries BCE saw an abundance of rings and a large variety in shape and style.
The intriguing design of this ring features a rectangular box setting holding a delicate arrangement of granulated and enameled flowers, perfect examples of the Hellenistic goldsmith's technical skill and free use of natural motifs. Many Hellenistic rings are set with an engraved gem and are generally considered to be signet rings, although a purely decorative function cannot be excluded.
Barbara Deppert-Lippitz, Ancient Gold Jewelry at the Dallas Museum of Art, (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art in association with the University of Washington Press, 1996), 66; 140.