Archer's Thumb Ring


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A thumb ring provided the archer with a firmer grip of the bowstring. As archery was considered a noble sporting exercise, thumb rings, often carried ostentatiously on strings hung from the belt, were worn as symbols of elevated social status. This example, fashioned in pale green nephrite jade set with gemstones in gold foliate mounts, is typically Ottoman. Similar rings are associated with Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent (r. 1520–66) and his immediate successors.

Archer's Thumb Ring, Jade, gold, emeralds, ruby, Turkish

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