Silver Ring of St Anthony with Tau Cross, ca 16th century or earlier
St Anthony was the patron saint of the poor and sick and of knights, butchers, and brushmakers. A ring bearing the symbol of St Anthony would confer the protection of the saint on the wearer. It may also have been used by members of religious orders dedicated to St Anthony, for example the military order of the Knights of St Anthony, founded by Albert II of Bavaria in 1382 before his proposed campaign against the Turks. It is also possible that some rings bearing this emblem may commemorate a pilgrimage to the church of St Antoine de Viennois, Dauphiné, France where the saint's relics were placed after their transfer from Constantinople in the eleventh century.
Condition: Intact and in very good condition overall.
Dimensions: US ring size: 8 (UK=Q, FR=56 3/4, DL=18, JP=18)
Provenance: Private Virginian collection acquired from the European trade.
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