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AD100 Roman Celtic Dalmatia (Croatia) Sz9 Ring 18thC Antique 5ct Russia Obsidian

CAD 236.97 Buy It Now 5d, CAD 21.05 Shipping, 30-Day Returns

Seller: ancientgifts (4,186) 99.3%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 381777129042 TRANSLATE Arabic Chinese French German Greek Indonesian Italian Hindi Japanese Korean Swedish Portuguese Russian Spanish Your browser does not support JavaScript. To view this page, enable JavaScript if it is disabled or upgrade your browser. Click here to see 1,000 archaeology/ancient history books and 2,000 ancient artifacts, antique gemstones, antique jewelry! Very Elegant and Bold Size 9 Genuine Ancient Roman Bronze Ring 100 A.D. CLASSIFICATION: Ancient Roman Bronze Ring. Antique Handcrafted Eighteenth Century Russian Siberian Obsidian Semi-Precious Gemstone . ATTRIBUTION: Eastern Roman Empire (Provincial Dalmatia – present-day Croatia), First or Second Century A.D. SIZE/MEASUREMENTS: Fits ring size 9 (U.S.). Diameter: 25mm * 22mm (outer dimensions – without gemstone); 19 3/4mm * 18mm (inner diameter). Bezel: 18 1/2mm breadth * 5 1/2mm height * 3mm thickness. Gemstone: 21 1/2mm (breadth) * 7 1/2mm (height) * 3mm (thickness). 5.17 carats (approximate weight). Tapered Width Band: 5 1/2mm (at bezel) * 5mm (at sides) * 4 1/2mm (at back). Weight: 5.19 grams. CONDITION: Excellent. Intact, moderately heavy wear, light porosity (surface pitting caused by contact with earth while buried). Professionally conserved. DETAIL: A handsome, nicely constructed Romano-Celtic bronze ring with understated but very elegant and sophisticated features. As you can see, ring’s band has a “bezel” composed of three supporting “legs”, to which originally was probably attached a metal, engraved bezel which ultimately broke off. However it is also possible that rather than attaching a bezel by brazing it onto the band, it is also possible that a gemstone might have been attached (the Romans used bitumen and pitch as adhesives). If indeed a gemstone had been fastened to the ring, it might quite likely have been an intaglio gemstone, i.e., a carnelian or amethyst (or some other quartz gemstone) with an engraved surface capable of pressing the wearer’s “seal” into wax or lead. In any event, when the ring was unearthed almost two thousand years after it was lost, all that remained were the bands and the three supports which had originally supported a bezel or stone. Inasmuch as clearly the ring once possessed some sort of bezel or gemstone, the designed seemed to invite the (re)mounting of a gemstone. So as to preserve a sense of historical continuity we mounted a large, natural, antique, handcrafted obsidian gemstone which originally was produced in Siberia (Russia) for use in the Russian jewelry trader. Archaeologists believe that obsidian has been used for decorative/ornamental purposes for at least 30,000 years, and of course mankind used obsidian for the production of cutting tools since the most ancient of times. In fact the edge of obsidian cutting tools have been compared favorably to modern surgical instruments. Certainly since the earliest of recorded history, obsidian was used as a gemstone in ancient Mesopotamia, by the ancient Egyptians, Sumerians, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Persians, and the rest of the ancient world. Rather than use bitumen pitch or tree resin as an adhesive (as did the Romans) we mounted the gemstone using jeweler’s epoxy. The gemstone is quite secure, but if you at time in the future wished to remove it, this could easily be accomplished using some thinner or nail polish remover. The gemstone was hand shaped and polished into this very beautiful cabochon by an eighteenth century Russian artisan near Yekaterinburg, Russia, home of one of Russia’s most famous gemstone and jewelry production centers, famous for producing the elaborate jewelry of Czarist Russia. Though the gemstone is not as old as the ring, given the fact that virtually all of the cultures of the classical Mediterranean world (including the Romans and Greeks) made wide use of obsidian in their jewelry, and that the gemstone in itself is historically significant, it seemed an appropriate gemstone to enhance this ring’s beauty, a choice which preserves historical continuity. Aside from the relatively sophisticated design, the specimen possesses a hallmark characteristic of the bronze rings produced within the Roman Empire by Celtic artisans. That is the very distinctive “knob” at the back of the band. The Romans highly regarding Celtic workmanship, and articles of jewelry produced by Celtic artisans were highly prized, and by the time of Imperial Rome, Celtic artisans could be found scattered throughout the empire. Fate has been kind to this ring. Though the ring does evidence a substantial amount of wear (and of course lost the original bezel), it is nonetheless of very heavy construction, and the integrity of the ring remains relatively undiminished despite the passage of two thousand years. The fact that the ring evidences a significant degree of wear from ancient usage should not, however, be a source of disappointment. You must keep in mind that the ring was produced by an artisan and sold to a patron or consumer with the idea that the ring would be enjoyed and worn by the purchaser. And without any regard to twenty-first century posterity, that precisely what happened! The original Roman owner of this ring wore it, enjoyed it, and probably never could have in his most delusional moment ever dreamed that almost 100 generations later the ring would still exist. It should likewise come as no surprise that also detectable are the telltale signs that the ring spent thousands of years in the soil. The evidence is known as “porosity”, which is fine surface pitting (oxidation, corrosion) caused by extended burial in caustic soil. Many small ancient metal artifacts such as this are extensively disfigured and suffer substantial degradation as a consequence of the ordeal of being buried for millennia. It is not at all unusual to find metal artifacts decomposed to the point where they are not much more substantial than discolored patterns in the soil. Actually most smaller ancient artifacts such as this are so badly oxidized that oftentimes all that is left is a green (bronze) or red (iron) stain in the soil, or an artifact which crumbles in your hand. However this specimen is not so heavily afflicted, and certainly has not been disfigured. To the cursory inspection of the casual admirer, it simply looks like an ancient ring, nicely surfaced, no immediately discernible blemishes. You have to look fairly closely to detect the telltale signs indicating the ring was buried for millennia. No denying, there is oxidation. However the extent is fairly modest. Certainly if you scrutinize the ring intently, or examine the ring through a jeweler’s loupe or in these photo enlargements, the signs that the ring was buried for millennia are unmistakable. There is a certain amount of oxidation, craters, pitting, etc. However the ring spent almost 2,000 years buried, yet by good fortune there is only a fairly moderate degree of porosity evidenced. It happened to come to rest in reasonably gentle soil conditions. Consequentially, the integrity of the artifact remains undiminished, and despite the porosity evidenced, the ring remains quite handsome, and entirely wearable. In fact wear would polish out the “acne” scars and pitting, evidence of having been entombed in the earth for two millennia. The ring’s overall integrity is exceptional, it has not been significant degraded, and the ring remains sturdy and entirely wearable. The ring has been professionally conserved. The ring is beautifully toned with a medium golden color very characteristic of ancient bronze, and quite handsome. The Romans were of course very fond of ornate personal jewelry including bracelets worn both on the forearm and upper arm, brooches, pendants, hair pins, earrings intricate fibulae and belt buckles, and of course, rings. This is an exceptional piece of Roman jewelry, a very handsome artifact, and eminently wearable. Aside from being significant to the history of ancient jewelry, it is also an evocative relic of one of the world’s greatest civilizations and than ancient world’s most significant military machine; the glory and light which was known as the “Roman Empire”. HISTORY: One of the greatest civilizations of recorded history was the ancient Roman Empire. In exchange for a very modest amount of contemporary currency, you can possess a small part of that great civilization in the form of a 2,000 year old piece of jewelry. The Roman civilization, in relative terms the greatest military power in the history of the world, was founded in the 8th century (B.C.). In the 4th Century (B.C.) the Romans were the dominant power on the Italian Peninsula, having defeated the Etruscans and Celts. In the 3rd Century (B.C.) the Romans conquered Sicily, and in the following century defeated Carthage, and controlled the Greece. Throughout the remainder of the 2nd Century (B.C.) the Roman Empire continued its gradual conquest of the Hellenistic (Greek Colonial) World by conquering Syria and Macedonia; and finally came to control Egypt in the 1st Century (B.C.). The pinnacle of Roman power was achieved in the 1st Century (A.D.) as Rome conquered much of Britain and Western Europe. For a brief time, the era of “Pax Romana”, a time of peace and consolidation reigned. Civilian emperors were the rule, and the culture flourished with a great deal of liberty enjoyed by the average Roman Citizen. However within 200 years the Roman Empire was in a state of steady decay, attacked by Germans, Goths, and Persians. In the 4th Century (A.D.) the Roman Empire was split between East and West. The Great Emperor Constantine temporarily arrested the decay of the Empire, but within a hundred years after his death the Persians captured Mesopotamia, Vandals infiltrated Gaul and Spain, and the Goths even sacked Rome itself. Most historians date the end of the Western Roman Empire to 476 (A.D.) when Emperor Romulus Augustus was deposed. However the Eastern Roman Empire (The Byzantine Empire) survived until the fall of Constantinople in 1453 A.D. At its peak, the Roman Empire stretched from Britain in the West, throughout most of Western, Central, and Eastern Europe, and into Asia Minor. Valuables such as coins and jewelry were commonly buried for safekeeping, and inevitably these ancient citizens would succumb to one of the many perils of the ancient world. Oftentimes the survivors of these individuals did not know where the valuables had been buried, and today, two thousand years later caches of coins and rings are still commonly uncovered throughout Europe and Asia Minor. Roman Soldiers oftentimes came to possess large quantities of “booty” from their plunderous conquests, and routinely buried their treasure for safekeeping before they went into battle. If they met their end in battle, most often the whereabouts of their treasure was likewise, unknown. Throughout history these treasures have been inadvertently discovered by farmers in their fields, uncovered by erosion, and the target of unsystematic searches by treasure seekers. With the introduction of metal detectors and other modern technologies to Eastern Europe in the past three or four decades, an amazing number of new finds are seeing the light of day two thousand years or more after they were originally hidden by their past owners. And with the liberalization of post-Soviet Eastern Europe, new markets have opened eager to share in these treasures of the Roman Empire. HISTORY OF OBSIDIAN: Obsidian is glass created by volcanic heat, similar to the way in which a diamond is formed, but it cooled too fast to form crystals. The ancient Roman Historian Pliny described obsidian as “obsidianus”, so named from its resemblance to a stone found in Ethiopia by one Obsius, and thus was the origin of the name “obsidian”. Obsidian has been prized by peoples of the ancient Near East for making tools and objects art and personal adornment since before the beginnings of settled communities. In fact, modern archaeologists have identified obsidian quarries on the Greek island of Melos over 35,000 years old. Widely distributed, but in a relatively limited number of localities, each with a unique chemical signature, obsidian has proven to be an ideal material for archaeological studies of early trade in the ancient Near East (Levant) and Mediterranean, revealing that obsidian was traded along routes that stretched thousands of miles, reaching backward in time into the Neolithic. It was regarded as magical in ancient times, used as an amulet, to cure illness, and polished into a mirror used as a scrying tool (to foresee the future). In Ubaid (early Mesopotamia) in the fifth millennium BC, blades were manufactured from obsidian mined in today's Turkey. In the third millennium BC, ancient Ancient Egyptians used obsidian imported from the eastern Mediterranean and southern Red Sea regions. The Incan people used mahogany obsidian to create masks, mirrors, and weapons. Ancient Greeks associated obsidian with Pluto, the god of the underworld and keeper of hidden treasures. Obsidian was valued in Stone Age cultures because, like flint, it could be fractured to produce sharp blades or arrowheads. Obsidian blade edges can reach almost molecular thinness, leading to its ancient use as projectile points and blades, and its modern use as surgical scalpel blades. Obsidian was also polished to create early mirrors. Obsidian is usually black, sometimes red or brown, and in the rarest occasions mahogany, rainbow, gold, silver, green, and a black variety with white inclusions known as “snowflake” obsidian. Snowflake obsidian was one of the earliest stones used for scrying, or seeing visions. It is these deviations in color that give obsidian a gem-like quality. Even jet black obsidian is highly prized as a gem when it is carved and polished. Throughout history, gemstones were believed capable of curing illness to providing protection. Found in Egypt dated 1500 B. C., the "Papyrus Ebers" offered one of most complete therapeutic manuscripts containing prescriptions using gemstones and minerals. In the eastern civilizations of China, India, and Tibet, gemstones were not only valued for their medicinal and protective properties, but also for educational and spiritual enhancement. These cultures regard topaz as a stone of true love and capable of attracting success in all endeavors. Obsidian’s medical uses in the ancient world included calming phobias and stopping convulsions. .Mahogany obsidian was believed to relive tension, heal gums, and improve circulation Spiritually it was believed to provide an accurate reflection of personality changes that need to be made, clarify the soul and bring good luck. Mahogany obsidian was regarded as a stone of strength, giving the wearer the ability to follow one's own convictions even in the face of adversity and bringing strength in times of need. A stone of reflection, this form of obsidian was believed to help with inner reflection, mirroring one’s flaws while bringing self-acceptance, helping with decision making, and enabling wearers to make significant change in difficult areas of our lives. The stone is also thought be some to increase sensuality - particularly with the sense of touch. HISTORY OF BRONZE: Bronze is the name given to a wide range of alloys of copper, typically mixed in ancient times with zinc, tin, lead, or arsenic. The discovery of bronze enabled people to create metal objects which were better than previously possible. Tools, weapons, armor, and building materials made of bronze were harder and more durable than their stone and copper predecessors from the “Chalcolithic” (the “Copper Age”), i.e., about 7000-3500 B.C., and the Neolithic (“New Stone Age”), i.e. about 12000 to 7000 B.C.). Of particular significance were bronze agricultural implements, tools for cutting stone, and weapons. Culturally significant was bronze statuary, particularly that of the Romans and Greeks. The ancient Greeks and Romans had a long history of making statuary in bronze. Literally thousands of images of gods and heroes, victorious athletes, statesmen, and philosophers filled temples and sanctuaries, and stood in the public areas of major cities. In fact, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia and the Colossus of Rhodes are two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Initially bronze was made out of copper and arsenic. It was only later that tin was used, becoming (except in ancient Egypt) the sole type of bronze in the late 3rd millennium B.C. Tin-alloyed bronze was superior to arsenic-alloyed bronze in that the alloying process itself could more easily be controlled, the alloy was stronger and easier to cast, and unlike arsenic, tin is not toxic. Toxicity was a major factor in the production of arsenic bronze. Repeated exposure to arsenic fumes ultimately led to nerve damage in the limbs. Evidence of the long agony of Bronze Age metalsmiths came down to the ancient Greeks and Romans in the form of legend, as the Greek and Roman gods of metalsmiths, Greek Hephaestus and Roman Vulcan, were both lame. In practice historical bronze alloys are highly variable in composition, as most metalworkers probably used whatever scrap was to hand. In one instance of ancient bronze from Britain, analysis showed the bronze to contain a mixture of copper, zinc, tin, lead, nickel, iron, antimony, arsenic, and silver. Other advantages of bronze over iron include that bronze better resists corrosion, particularly seawater corrosion; bronze resists metal fatigue better than iron; and bronze is a better heat conductor (and thus is better suited for cooking vessels). However ancient bronze, unless conserved properly, is susceptible to “bronze disease”, wherein hydrochloric or hydrosulfuric acid is formed due to impurities (cuprous chloride or sulfur) found within the ancient bronze. Traditionally archaeology has maintained that the earliest bronze was produced by the Maikop, a proto-Indo-European, proto-Celtic culture of Caucasus prehistory around 3500 B.C. Recent evidence however suggests that the smelting of bronze might be as much as several thousand years older (bronze artifacts dating from about 4500 B.C. have been unearthed in Thailand). Shortly after the emergence of bronze technology in the Caucasus region, bronze technology emerged in ancient Mesopotamia (Sumer), Egypt, the Indus Valley Civilization of Northern India, the Aegean, the Caspian Steppes (Ukraine), the Southern Russia/Central Mongolia Region (the Altai Mountains), the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean), Anatolia (Turkey) and the Iranian Plateau. By the late third millennium B.C. many Western European Bronze Age Cultures had emerged. Some of the more notable were the Celtic cultures of Middle Europe stretching from Hungary to Poland and Germany, including the Urnfield, Lusatian, and (Iron Age Transitional) Hallstatt Cultures. The Shang in ancient China also developed a significant Bronze Age culture, noted for large bronze burial urns. The ancient Chinese were the first to cast bronze (using the “lost wax” technique) about 2200 B.C. Prior to that time all bronze items were forged. Though weapons and utilitarian items were produced in great numbers, the production of bronze in ancient China was especially noteworthy for ornamented ritualistic/religious vessels (urns, wine vessels, water pots, food containers, and musical instruments), many of immense size. Britain’s Bronze Age cultures included the Beaker, Wessex, Deverl, and Rimbury. Copper and tin ores are rarely found together, so the production of bronze has always involved trade. Cornwall was one of the most significant sources of tin not only for Britain, but exported throughout the Mediterranean. Other significant suppliers of tine were the Taurus Mountains of Anatolia (Turkey), as well as Spain. Enormous amounts of copper was produced from the Great Orme mine in North Wales, the island of Cyprus, the European Alps, and from the Sinai Peninsula and other nearby sites in the Levant. Though much of the raw minerals may have come from Britain, Spain, Anatolia, and the Sinai, it was the Aegean world which controlled the trade in bronze. The great seafaring Minoan Empire (about 2700 to 1450 B.C.) appears to have controlled, coordinated, and defended the trade. Tin and charcoal were imported into Cyprus, where locally mined copper was mined and alloyed with the tin from Britain. Indicative of the seafaring trade in the Eastern Mediterranean, a shipwreck from about 1300 B.C. off the Turkish coast revealed a ship carrying a ton of copper ingots, several dozen small tin ingots, new bronze tools, scrap metal, and a blacksmith's forge and tools (along with luxury trade goods from Africa). It appears that the Bronze Age collapsed with the fall of Minoan Empire, to be replaced by a Dark Age and the eventual rise of the Iron Age Myceneans (on mainland Greece). Evidence suggests that the precipitating event might have been the eruption of Thera (Santorini) and the ensuing tsunami, which was only about 40 miles north of Crete, the capital of the Minoan empire. Some archaeologists argue that it was Santorini itself which was the capitol city of the Minoan World. However where Crete or Santorini, it is known that the bread-basket of the Minoan trading empire, the area north of the Black Sea lost population, and thereafter many Minoan colony/client-states lost large populations to extreme famines or pestilence. Inasmuch as the Minoans were the principals of the tin/copper shipping network throughout the Mediterranean, the Bronze Age trade network is believed to have failed. The end of the Bronze Age and the rise of the Iron Age is normally associated with the disturbances created by large population disruptions in the 12th century B.C. The end of the Bronze Age saw the emergence of new technologies and civilizations which included the large-scale production of iron (and limited scale production of steel). Although iron was in many respects much inferior to bronze (and steel was inefficiently produced in very limited quantities), iron had the advantage that it could be produced using local resources during the dark ages that followed the Minoan collapse, and was very inexpensive when compared to the cost of producing bronze. Bronze was still a superior metal, resisting both corrosion and metal fatigue better than iron. And bronze was still used during the Iron Age, but for many purposes the weaker iron was sufficiently strong to serve in its place. As an example, Roman officers were equipped with bronze swords while foot soldiers had to make do with iron blades. Pliny the Elder, the famous first century Roman historian and naturalist, wrote about the reuse of scrap bronze and copper in Roman foundries, noting that the metals were recast as armor, weapons or articles for personal use, such as bronze mirrors. The melting and recasting foundries were located at the Italian port city of Brindisi. Located on the Adriatic coast, Brindisi was the terminus of the great Appian Way, the Roman road constructed to facilitate trade and military access throughout the Italian part of the Roman Empire. The city was the gateway for Roman penetration into the eastern parts of her empire (Greece, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Black Sea Region, the Danubian Provinces, and eventually Mesopotamia). Domestic shipping (insured first class mail) is included in the price shown. Domestic shipping also includes USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site). Canadian shipments are an extra $15.99 for Insured Air Mail; International shipments are an extra $19.99 for Air Mail (and generally are NOT tracked; trackable shipments are EXTRA). ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per item so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. If you intend to pay via PayPal, please be aware that PayPal Protection Policies REQUIRE insured, trackable shipments, which is UNCLUDED in our price. International tracking is at additional cost. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world – but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the “business” of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly – even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."

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