Ring engraved with a lion and a bear

Early Byzantine Period
6th–7th century

Place of Manufacture: East Mediterranean

Catalogue Raisonné

Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 123.


Width: 2.4 cm (15/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Europe, Jewelry, The Ancient World



An unusual ring with a reversible octagonal bezel engraved with a lion in profile walking along a groundline identifed in Greek as “Lion”; on the other side is a a bear in profile walking along a groundline identified in Greek as “Bear.” There is a Greek inscription around the an inscription runs around the sides of the bezel that contains good wishes for the wearer. The hoop has a Greek inscription engraved as well. Each end of the hoop terminates in an open eye, joined to the flat octagonal bezel by means of projecting pins.


inscribed on hoop and bezel


By date unknown: Collection of Mr. Eliezar Yelushalmi; purchased from Mr. Yelushalmi (then in his 80s) in Israel by a private collector who consigned it to Christie's; by December 2004: with Christie's New York, 20 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020 (auction 1445, December 9, 2004, lot 176); December 9, 2004: purchased by Mrs. Claude-Claire Grenier at Christie's auction; gift of Mrs. Claude-Claire Grenier to MFA, June 22, 2005

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Claude-Claire Grenier