This Byzantine wedding ring from Agrigento, Sicily was made in the 7th century AD. The ring, which was originally inlaid, shows Christ blessing the union of bride and groom. The inscription on the face, ‘OM(o)NYA’, means ‘Harmony’ or ‘Concord’ and the inscription around the hoop is a quote from the Bible (‘My peace I give to you’ – John 14:27). During the early Byzantine period, just like today, a ring was the object most closely associated with the marriage ritual. Romans and Byzantines believed that a special vein ran from the fourth (ring) finger directly to the heart. 

You can see this beautiful ring in our exhibition Sicily: culture and conquest, opening 21 April.

Sponsored by Julius Baer

In collaboration with Regione Siciliana

These seated ancient Egyptian statues depict the divine Isis and her husband Osiris. They were found together in the tomb of an official from the time of the reign of king Amasis (570–526 BC). Isis wears a sheath dress and a crown in the form of the emblem of Hathor – a solar disc set between cow’s horns. In her right hand she holds the ankh, the sign of life. Osiris, carved in the same beautiful style of the 26th Dynasty, is wrapped in fine cloth, as he holds symbols of sovereignty – the flail and crook. 

The inscriptions around the bases of the statues were intended to invoke ‘Isis, mother of the god, great in magic, mistress of the Two Lands’, and ‘Osiris who presides in the west, great god, lord of Ro-Setaou’. Following his judgment of the deceased, Osiris could grant wishes for a peaceful arrival in the netherworld, while Isis gives life – the carved life symbol reveals her to be a magician stronger than death. This divine couple belonged to a sumptuous burial and would have ensured perpetual protection for the person with whom they were interred. 

You can see these statues in the BP exhibition Sunken cities: Egypt’s lost worlds, opening 19 May 2016.

Supported by BP

I pierced these, and @piercingbyciaron upgraded them to these fab @anatometalinc pieces! This little lady has awesome taste in jewellery. Thank you Ciaron for grabbing this lovely picture.

#oldlondonroadtattoos #oldlondonroad #opals #opalclusters #london #londonpiercer #igmasters #instadaily #photooftheday #bodypiercer #bodypiercing #bodypiercinguk #bodymodification #project #Piercing #postoftheday #anatocult #anatometal #anatometaluk #anatometalinc #bodypiercing #healed (at Old London Road)