Byzantine, 7th century, finger ring. Photo courtesy Sotheby's. 

gold, with raised octagonal bezel adorned with clusters of beads and set with an emerald, the openwork hoop in garland form - bezel: 14mm., 9/16 in. - ring size P. Estimation 8,000 — 12,000 GBP 

Provenance: private collection, Italy 

The present ring compares closely with a Byzantine 7th-century gold ring also with octagonal bezel adorned with beads and openwork hoop (but with an inscription) at Dunbarton Oaks, Washington DC (Ross, op. cit,. no. 6E). The openwork pattern forming the hoop is typical of 6th- and 7th-century Byzantine goldwork; a similar pattern can be found on the outside edge of an earring in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (inv. no. 38.171.1). Another similar ring was sold in these rooms on 14 November 1966, lot 67, catalogued as Byzantine 7th century. 

RELATED LITERATURE: M. C. Ross, Catalogue of the Byzantine and Early Mediaeval Antiquities in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection, Washington, 1965, vol. ii, pp. 10-12, 61-62, nos. 6E and 72, plates XIV and XLV; J. Spier, 'Some Unconventional Early Byzantine Rings', C. Entwistle (ed.), Intelligible Beauty. Recent Research on Byzantine Jewellery, London, 2010, pp. 13-19; H. Evans and B. Ratliff, Byzantium and Islam. Age of Transition 7th-19th Century, exh. cat. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New Haven and London, 2012, p. 191, no. 131A 

Sotheby's. European Sculpture & Works of Art. London | 04 déc. 2013, 11:00 AM -www.sothebys.com