Place of Origin: Hyderabad (?), India
Date: 17th or 18th Century
This archer’s ring is probably forged from desirable wootz steel and is decorated with gold koftgari arranged into the cross-shaped pattern often found on enamel-decorated objects. A silver-gilt archer’s ring in the al-Sabah Collection of the Kuwaiti National Museum (LNS 1866 J) (1) displays the same pattern as ours does, in an enamel border, and is attributed to Hyderabad.
Archers’ rings with an asymmetrical construction (such as this example) were designed to enable archers to release arrows with precision while still protecting the inner sides of their thumbs against impacts from the bow string.
Provenance: UK Art Market
(1) Keene/Kaoukji, Treasury of the World: Jewelled Arts of India in the Age of the Mughal, 2001, p.65, no.6.8.