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Ref  SG5    13th Century Stirrup Ring

A late 13th century high-carat gold stirrup shaped hoop, set with original cabochon sapphire. Stirrup rings were popular in Europe from the 13th to the 15th centuries and are represented in all major museum collections. They were not only expensive status symbols; the gemstones they contained were talismanic and each gem was believed to have a particular magical or healing property. According to Marbode, Bishop of Rennes [1035 - 1123], the author of the most influential lapidary compendium of the time, the sapphire kept the wearer from poverty and protected chastity. This stirrup ring is size M and 1/2 [US 6 and 1/4] and can be sized. Its height from base to tip of sapphire is 3/4 of an inch and the band is 1/8 of an inch wide. It is in immaculate condition. For similar see Oman's Victoria and Albert Museum Catalogue of Rings, plate X and the British Museum ring collection.

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