Monday, September 12, 2011

A "Date Palm" Bezel Ring Found in England???

My first reaction is - what?  My second reaction is - what?  My current reaction is - what? What the hell is such a ring doing in England?  What does medieval England know about date palms?  What is this kind of bezel doing in England?  Was it a common motif of the period?  A date palm with two 'horns of plenty?' 

Honestly, when I look at this admittedly poor image, all I see is an Egyptian scorpion!

September 13, 2011
Medieval ‘treasure’ found near Ripon           

Published on Thursday 8 September 2011 06:00

AN intricately-carved medieval ring discovered near Ripon is an important archaeological find which qualifies as “treasure”, a coroner has ruled.

The piece was found by metal detectorist Lindsey Holland close to Ripon on May 16, 2010 and sent to the British Museum.

In a report to North Yorkshire coroner Rob Turnbull, experts from the museum described the find as an oval silver-gilt seal matrix which would have formed the bezel, or top part, of a finger-ring dating from the 13th or 14th centuries.

Because the ring is more than 300 years old and contains precious metals the coroner ruled it counts as “treasure” which public museums must be given a chance to purchase.

The ring, which measures only 17mm long, is also set with a carnelian, a red semi-precious gem, carved with a picture of two cornucopaie or “horns of plenty” flanking a date palm. The silver around the gem is inscribed with three words translated as “live”, “be well” or “farewell” and “fear”.

A museum has already shown an interest in buying the ring, Mr Turnbull said at the hearing at Harrogate Magistrates Court on Tuesday, September 6.

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