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19th C. European Silver & Stone Intaglio Ring, Biblical

European, ca. 19th century CE. A very large silver and greenstone intaglio ring - the silver of a very fine quality (94% silver). Incised on the intaglio is a scene of the near Sacrifice of Isaac at precisely the moment when Abraham is about to plunge his dagger to kill his son Isaac in front of an altar to demonstrate his loyalty to God when the hands of God appear above, symbolically offering the ram below as an alternative sacrifice, with a fire to the right. Short carved marks below groundline represent grass or wheat fields, and there is a 6-pointed star to the lower right. The inscription along the upper edge of the stone is garbled, although the last word VIVAS is Latin, meaning "long live." Adam and Eve scenes are delineated on the shoulders of the ring - Original Sin and the Expulsion from Paradise. Size: intaglio measures 1.125" L x 1" W (2.9 cm x 2.5 cm); opening measures 1" L x .875" W (2.5 cm x 2.2 cm); US ring size: 9.75; Silver quality: 94%; Total weight: 26.2 grams.

The silver shank is also replete with Book of Genesis iconography - with one scene of Adam and Eve picking an apple, about to eat the forbidden fruit of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden as a serpent slithers in the vicinity on one shoulder and their resulting Expulsion from the Garden of Eden on the other shoulder.

The Sacrifice of Isaac is the story from the Book of Genesis in which God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son to prove his faith. He said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." (Genesis 22:1-19). So Abraham arose early the next morning, prepared his donkey, and ventured to Mount Moriah with his son. After binding Isaac to an altar, an angel of God miraculously halted Abraham's hand and said, "now I know you fear God." Abraham passed the test of loyalty and sacrificed a nearby ram instead.

Condition: Silver has attained a warm age patina. Intaglio is excellent with a carved Latin inscription and iconography. Though the inscription is somewhat unclear, the last word VIVAS is Latin, meaning "long live." Old collection label on verso of intaglio.

Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection; ex-collection of Frances Artuner, Belgium, 1960's

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