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Ref JFA2  High Priest's Breastplate Ring

A rare, and no doubt specially commissioned amuletic and magical ring from the end of the 19th century. The 18 carat gold band terminates in a chequerboard of 12 different table-cut gemstones, including sapphire, ruby, citrine, amethyst, emerald, chrysoprase, rock crystal and various agates. The design is based on a traditional high priest's breastplate as described in the Book of Exodus. Rabbinical writings from ancient times ascribed various meanings to the gems on the breastplate, some said they were sacred to the twelve mighty angels who guarded the gates of Paradise, other said they represented the twelve tribes of Israel. The shoulders of the ring are set with pink tourmaline. A more detailed description of the high priest's breast plate and the different permutations of gemstones it could contain can be found in G.F. Kunz's Curious Lore of Precious Stones [1913]. The exterior band of the ring is engraved with an Old Testament inscription : Dear Lord remember me in thy kingdom. The ring is size O and 1/2 [US 7 and 1/4]. The gemset chequerboard head measures 2/3 of an inch by 1/2 an inch. A fascinating, one-off talismanic ring.

sold


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