197. A Byzantine Gold Ring

Constantinople, 5th–6th century AD
Size: 4.5 cm high

Download PDF

It is easy to assume that the two birds inside the cage are Eucharistic doves, and that the ring once adorned a richly attired archimandrite. (Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus, the spiritual well-spring of EOKA, had his ecclesiastical garb made by Pierre Cardin in Paris.) The birds are not doves, but peacocks, two of them sitting on a perch, and so the ring might have adorned a courtesan instead.