You heard me right.
to DIE for.
Cue ominous music.
Dun, dun, duh.
It sounds a little J.R.R. Tolkien, does it not?
"Don't leave me here alone! It's your Sam calling.
Don't go where I can't follow! Wake up, Mr. Frodo!"
As the story goes…
If you were next in line for the throne and you had the chance to have a lovely meal with your elder brother, the king, all you would need to do is slip some poison into the hole in your very stylish ring and you could nonchalantly tip your hand over his glass while kindly pouring him a second glass of wine. Then, poof! In goes the poison and you are the king of the land!
This poison ring ^ was found at the site of a former medieval fortress in Cape Kaliakra, not far from the Black Sea coastal town of Kavarna in northeast Bulgaria. It was probably worn by a man on the little finger of his right hand.
It is said to date back to the 14th century and may possibly be the missing link in many unexplained deaths of royalty at the time.
It was possibly used in one era to keep the stench away, for smelling salts in another, and for Quinine and heart attacks in yet another.
The path of research that led me to this morbid piece of jewelry all started with this beautiful turquoise and silver ring. It is marked .925 but, it is unusual because the band is adjustable which is something generally found in less expensive rings. The vendor who brought it in told me that it is called a “Poison Locket Ring” and went on to show me how the ring opened.
A poison ring or pillbox ring is a type of ring with a container under the bezel or inside the bezel itself that could be used to hold poison, hair, teeth, bone or other substances. They became popular in Europe during the sixteenth (16th) century. The poison ring was used either to slip poison into an enemy's food or drink, or to facilitate the suicide of the wearer in order to escape capture or torture.
Rings like these have been used throughout history to carry perfume, locks of hair, devotional relics, messages and other keepsakes, and have been known by other names. Artists would paint tiny portraits of loved ones, to be carried in what was called a “locket ring,” which was popular during the Renaissance. By the seventeenth (17th) century, jewelers were creating locket rings in the shape of caskets which served as mementos for mourners. These were called “funeral rings.” Rings with compartments are also called “box” rings or “socket” rings. (Wikipedia)
This type of jewelry originated in ancient days of the Far East and India. It replaced the practice of wearing keepsakes and other items in pouches around the neck. The wearing of vessel rings was so practical that it spread to other parts of Asia, the Middle East and the Mediterranean before reaching Western Europe in the Middle Ages. By then the rings were part of the “holy relic trade”.
Come on down to Grandma’s Attic and check out this unique ring...No worries, there's a very slim chance that we will offer you a soda from our Pepsi machine while wearing "My Precious", err, this ring...
very slim indeed.
Dun, dun, duh.
-The GA Gang