Description: XIV-XV century Venetian...
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Finger-ring, gold, of hollow construction. The hoop is decorated at three points with the motif of an open book. Six, spherical pellets decorate the top and bottom of the hoop at the points where the leaves of the book are placed. Between each book a beaded panel of text is inserted. Each open book is inscribed with two letters.
This ring is part of a collection of 'Veneto-Byzantine' jewellery found in 1840 in the Castle of Chalcis on the Greek island of Euboea (known as Negroponte by the Venetians). Euboea was one of the most important Venetian colonies in the Aegean before it was captured by the Turks in 1470. This jewellery, hidden by the rich inhabitants of the island at the threat of invasion, exemplifies the unique and elegant tastes of these Venetian expatriates.
The castle at Chalcis was often compared to King Arthur's Court at Avalon. This particular ring, in the form of a knight's belt, evokes images of the splendid tournaments held in the castle, an essential display of the chivalric culture of the time.