Jewels, Hair and Accessories of the Middle Ages
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This elaborate bishop's ring has the typical combination of a gold setting with a single, large stone, in this case malachite. The gold is decorated with openwork eagles, animal heads, and floral elements. The malachite is probably meant to resemble "toadstone," a green stone said to be found on the head of a toad and believed to have healing qualities. These rings had to be large as bishops normally wore them over gloves on the third finger of the right hand.

Lapidary- a text that investigates and chronicles the¬†physical, magical and medicinal property of a stone. Pliny the Elder’s Natural History was admired in the Middle Ages for its compendium of minerals and metals. Marbodus, Bishop of Rennes, wrote one of the most famous lapidaries, Liper Lapidum Book of Stones, in 1067-81. In this book he […]