July - August2017
Finger rings signify power and prestige – just as much today in TV and movies as they have throughout history. Real or fictional, the glittering presence of medieval rings boldly captures the imagination. Hit shows like Game of Thrones portray the intentions of heroes and villains through their rings and costumes. And like the armies of Game of Thrones, rings triumphantly travel overseas. This braided gold Viking ring shows the masterful craftwork of the Norsemen, and perhaps belonged to a soldier destined for battle. Symbols of power were used by royal and imperial houses across Europe. The double-headed eagle on this German signet ring traces back to the prestige Imperial Rome. Vast empires can even be evoked in a single ring: an impressive sapphire ring from Iran captures the expanse and power of the Seljuq dynasty that stretched from the Mediterranean to China.