Antique Ottoman Arabic Islamic Massive Wax Seal Signet Stamp Ring
Antique wax seal ring from the 19th - early 20th century, used for various administrative and merchant purposes in the Ottoman Empire. It is very large in size, very heavy, exquisitely made, and decorated with filigree work, large round turquoise stone etched with Arabic letters, and multicolored inlay in blue, green, and red stones.
This ring is a unique representative of its era: late Ottoman Empire that stretched across the Middle East. It is highly unusual because of its massive size (see pictures) and hefty weight - 124.4 grams or 4.39 oz. Seal rings were used by local authorities, as well as in trade circles, for stamping wax seals on documents and letters. This ring must have been used for a long period of time as it has a few cracks and chips in its red inlay stones and, amazingly, still has some tiny remnants of wax.
The signet cathedral style face of the ring is made of a very large and thick green-blue turquoise stone, containing a prominent carving of the Arabic script. Due to its age and the fact that the carving is done in an older calligraphic font, we were unable to decipher the exact wording. As a rule, this type of ring would indicate the name of its owner. The inlay stones are likely lapis and rose quartz, in addition to the turquoise inlay, but they cannot be verified with confidence.
Seals have functioned as symbols of authority from the earliest days of Islam. In Islamic seals the inscription takes central stage, unlike European seals which are primarily pictorial. This museum-quality signet ring is a truly unique collectible.
Total length: 3.2" (8.1 cm).
Diameter of the finger opening: 1.1" (2.8 cm).
Diameter of the turquoise seal: 1.2" (3 cm).
Circumference of the widest section of the ring: 6.5" (16.5 cm).
Weight: 4.39 oz (124.4 grams).
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