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"Papal" Ring


Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Rings of this type mostly date from the 15th and 16th centuries and are decorated with papal arms, mitres, crossed keys, and other ecclesiastical symbols. Their name is somewhat misleading, as it is unlikely that they were actually worn by the popes, given the quantities that were produced and the inexpensive materials used, which would not appeal to the papal taste for precious stones in lavish settings. Therefore, it remains unclear for whom these rings were intended. Their massive size adds to the mystery, as they probably would not have been worn for an extended time. It is possible that they were souvenirs given out by the pope to pilgrims. This example bears the arms of Cardinal Gabriele Condolmerio (1408-1431), a cardinal's mitre, and a papal tiara.
Conservation
Date Description Narrative
10/15/1958Treatmentcleaned; coated
6/01/1983Examinationexamined for loan
9/12/1984Treatmentcleaned
2/02/1988Treatmentcleaned
Exhibitions
  • Jewelry - Ancient to Modern. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1979-1980.
  • Illuminated Manuscripts: Masterpieces in Miniature. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984-1985.
  • Bedazzled: 5,000 Years of Jewelry from the Walters Art Museum. Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville; The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota; The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2006-2009.
  • Bedazzled: 5,000 Years of Jewelry. El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso. 2010.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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Creator
Period
1408-1431
Medium
gilded bronze, red stone
(Metal)
Accession Number
54.434
Measurements
1 9/16 x 1 in. (4 x 2.6 cm)
Geographies
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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