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Ancient Roman marriage fede ring. Centrally set with an oval cornelian plaque in a closed backrubover setting, featuring a finely carved stylised depiction of clasped hands, leading to broad flat shoulders with decorative granular details and flowing through to a solid D-shapeshank. Tested yellow gold, approximately 4.4g, circa 4th century AD.
The clasped hands, or fede motif (Italian for 'faith'), symbolises the marriage union as the joining of hands in a handshake and marks the consecration of the marriage ceremony. It is one of the earliest and most enduring of motifs used in jewellery, seen as far back as Ancient Roman times.
This ring has fine motifs with decorative details which make it a rare museum quality piece.