Parthian Gold Ring of a Royal Dignitary with a Lapis Lazuli Intaglio

Culture: Parthian
Period: 2nd century B.C.
Material: Gold, lapis lazuli
Dimensions: 2.3 cm (ring diameter); 12.7 gram
Price: 38 000 Euro
Ref: 6505
Provenance: From the family estate of the French diplomat Philippe Nguyen, Paris. In the family for several decades.
Condition: Intact and of extraordinary quality.
Description: Important ring of a high ranking, so far unknown dignitary of a Parthian royal family. The masterly worked out jewellery with two bull protomes on the shoulder flanking the central gemstone, a lapis lazuli intaglio. The intaglio with the head of a dignitary with thick curly hair, cascading on the front to the forehead, and at the back to the nape. The noble man wears a cap, long, heavy earrings and a medallion around his neck. Above the head a series of seven letters in early-Pahlavi language, mentioning the name of the owner. The inscription reads “Yahbyzd”, which translates to „divine Yahb”. It must therefore be a high-ranking personality from the royal entourage, possibly a high priest. The ring is decorated throughout with the finest granulation in the shape of grapes and rings. Next to the bull heads two granules bouquets each. The high-quality workmanship of the ring with the individually soldered granules speaks clearly for a dating to the 2nd century B.C., when the influence of Hellenistic artists reached until Iran. Ready to wear. Intact and of extraordinary quality.