The ring is of unusual design and powerful in its simplicity. The ring is of fine silver with a mercury applied gold gilt surface. The band is of a flattened convex type which rises to wide signet shoulders. To each shoulder a Christian symbolic fish is seen. The bezel frame is a counter sunk oval at 2 cm in length with a finial lip casting and typically Georgian in style with a closed reverse case. Rising above the lower bezel is a collar case which holds a jet black onyx gem of chalcedony. The stone is cut as an intaglio and details an expertly ha d crafted image of the cross keys symbol, indicative of the Holy See of Rome and the Vatican symbol of State:=. The ring has a date inscription in italic script to the reverse of the bezel case reading 1774 AD.
It is believed this ring is a commemorative ring which may have been made to mark the sudden passing of Pope Clement XIV who died in September of the 1774.
The ring is considered to be highly historical with its own energy and unusual, pleasing design.
About Pope Clement XIV
Pope Clement XIV died suddenly on September 22, 1774 at the age of 68. His pontificate had been dominated by the problem of the Jesuits. The various courts under the House of Bourbon and the Kingdom of Portugal urged the general suppression of the order. The Pope tried to defend them and to temporize, but finally had to capitulate, and in 1773 he issued the Brief Dominus ac Redemptor which suppressed the Jesuits. Father Lorenzo Ricci, general of the order, had been imprisoned in Castel Sant’ Angelo. However, the Jesuits still had many adherents in the Roman Curia and in the College of Cardinals. The attitude toward Jesuits remained the main criterion of the appreciation of the candidates to the papal succession in the subsequent conclave.
Papal Artifacts gratefully acknowledges “Simon@Timeslide”, an archaeologist, from whom the ring was obtained. Timeslide Ecclectic Collections’ website may be accessed via Etsy.