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Ecclesiastical "Passport" Ring

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description There are about 100 massive gilded bronze rings of this type known today. They are all apparently 15th-century Italian and all bear combinations of emblems, including the double-headed Habsburg eagle, the papal tiara and crossed keys, and those of great families from which archbishops, cardinals, and popes have come. It has been suggested that they may have served as a secure form of credential or passport for messengers or others on official business.
Date Description Narrative
10/15/1958Treatmentcleaned; coated
  • The Medieval Craftsman and His Modern Counterpart. Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington; Newcomb Art Gallery, Tulane University, New Orleans. 1959.
  • Jewelry - Ancient to Modern. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1979-1980.
  • Objects of Adornment: Five Thousand Years of Jewelry from the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio; Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa; Honolulu Academy of Arts, Honolulu; New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans; Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee; Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis; Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo; The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota. 1984-1987.
  • Jewelry from the Walters Art Gallery and the Zucker Family Collection. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1987.
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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1480-1500 (Renaissance)
gilded bronze, rock crystal, silver foil
Accession Number
1 5/8 x 1 3/8 in. (4.2 x 3.5 cm)
  • Italy (Place of Origin)


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