A gold and cabochon star sapphire repoussé ring Champa, 14th century | 十四世紀 占城 金嵌星光藍寶石戒指
Property from the Tuyet Nguyet and Stephen Markbreiter Collection 雪月藏亞洲藝術珍品
Property from the Tuyet Nguyet and Stephen Markbreiter Collection
A gold and cabochon star sapphire repoussé ring
Champa, 14th century
十四世紀 占城 金嵌星光藍寶石戒指
d. 1.8 cm; 18.4 grams
From the 2nd century through to the 15th century, the Champa Empire flourished in present-day central and southern Vietnam. As a result of the region being divided by numerous rivers and separated by mountains, Champa was not a unified kingdom but rather a coalition of polities whose power waxed and waned. The Champa empire borrowed heavily from Indian culture and religion, even adopting Sanskrit as its sacred language. In Sanskrit, Champa is the name of a bush and a flower.
Maritime trade was the primary source of income for the seafaring Cham; many also earned a living through farming, silk weaving, and gold jewellery crafting. From the 10th century onwards, Arab merchants stopped along the Vietnamese coast en route to China, bringing an increased Islamic cultural and religious influence.
As seen in this exquisite group of 14th-century Champa gold rings in the collection, each ring is set with a precious stone in a high collet, decorated with intricate repoussé work on the shanks and engraved with a four-petaled lotus motif on the reverse. Each piece shows considerable Arabic artisanal influence.
This group of gold jewellery remains as evidence of this once great civilization before its fall to northern Vietnamese invaders in the 15th century.