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A yellow gold ring with central rectangular plaque finely engraved with an ox head with halo, wings and cross, the flat shank composed of a mirrored pair of outstretched finely carved openwork beasts, with forelegs supporting the plaque, the hindlegs touching to reverse. Tested yellow gold, circa 12th century.
Saint Luke or Luke the Evangelist is one of the four traditionally ascribed authors of the Gospels. Depictions of Saint Luke often portray him with an ox (a sacrificial animal) with wings. This symbolism represents Christ's self sacrifice on the Cross which Luke emphasises in his Gospel.
This museum quality ring is in extremely fine condition.
For a ring of comparable design, see the ring featured in the exhibition catalogue "Das Reich der Salinger 1024-1125", in the Roman-Germanic Central Museum Mainz, 1992; the ring is currently held by the Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim.