H x W x D: 8.5 x 4.4 x 3.0 cm (3 3/8 x 1 3/4 x 1 3/16 in.)
The surface patina of this ring suggests it was once buried, possibly recovered from an archaeological site. The design--cast copper alloy with delicate linear decoration and the projecting spikes connected with iron pins--is distinctive to the Inland Niger Delta region. This ring is similar to contemporary rings that are worn in pairs by women and are used almost like castanets. Other sources have described similar examples as horse bells.
Cast copper alloy U form ring with ends that flare into balloon forms that meet in the middle, each with a flat triangular spike that is riveted together. Ring has an overall delicate incised linear pattern and heavy green, possibly archaeological patina.
Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Syrop, New York, -- to 1984
African Mosaic: Selections from the Permanent Collection, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., November 19, 2013–August 12, 2019 (installed November 19, 2013–October 13, 2015)
African Mosaic: Celebrating a Decade of Collecting, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., November 19, 2010-November 19, 2013