Jewish betrothal ring

Date: 17th or 19th century

Culture: Eastern European or Italian

Medium: Gold, enamel

Dimensions: Overall: 7/8 × 1 3/4 in. (2.2 × 4.4 cm)

Classification: Metalwork-Gold and Platinum

Credit Line: Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917

Accession Number: 17.190.996


It is difficult to date and localize the large, ornamented rings that were created for use in synagogues during the wedding ritual. However, there is ample evidence that examples such as this one were exchanged during Italian Jewish weddings. The groom would place it on the bride's finger, but after the ceremony the ring would have been kept as a prized memento by either the family or the temple community. The gable roof—perhaps symbolizing the Temple of Jerusalem—opens to reveal the words "Good Luck."