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C1650 Medieval Silver Signet Ring w Crescent Moon and Star

C1650 Medieval Silver Signet Ring w Crescent Moon and Star

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Directory: Antiques: Decorative Art: Jewelry: Continental: Pre 1700: Item # 1460366
Moylan-Smelkinson/The Spare Room
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P.O. Box 4684
Baltimore, Maryland 21212
tel. 410-435-3738

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A late Medieval historic signet ring of silver believed to be of Islamic origin. Pictorial signet rings were made to serve the practical purpose of bearing a mark that when impressed upon clay would authenticate documents, during a time when many in society were illiterate. The ring presents with an octagonal bezel and is carved with a standing bird, neck and head bent down, a star and crescent before it, and a decorative geometric pattern carved on the rim and the shoulders. The crescent moon and star suggests middle eastern/Islamic influence, whereupon travel along the desert trade routes was largely by night, and navigation depended upon the position of the moon and stars. The moon represents the guidance of G-d on the roads traveled through life. Representations of animals and humans have flourished in nearly all Islamic cultures in the secular sphere. Thus, it is unlikely there is a religious orientation to this signet ring, where animal figures would not have been used. The ring is a US size 11.