AUD $160.00

Gandharan, Spindle Whorl Ring.

This old Stone Spindle Whorl from the Swat Valley in what was once Gandhara, dating back to around 400 AD has been hand set into Sterling Silver Ring for us in Indonesia.  (Gandhara you'll remember is the place/kingdom where Buddhism developed its characteristic Hellenistic sculptural style/look before it set off up through Central Asia to the Silk Route then East to China and the rest of Asia.) 
Carved from grey steatite, a slate like stone used a lot since ancient times in the Indus Valley and surrounds for carving and turning on lathes to produce bowls and in this case hemispherical beadlike spindle whorls. These are the weight at the bottom of the shaft or stick that made a spindle for spinning thread (cotton, wool or even silk) for weaving.

We've got a few loose ones here at the shop and have chosen some of the best to take to Indonesia where our Silversmith has set it into a Sterling Silver ring with a disc of fine granulation covering the central hole through which the spindle was originally poked.

 The ring is quite ornate as we let the Silver Smith get carried away, the result is quite heavily "sculpted" silver with four flattened balls on either side of a voluptuous bezel, all set on a plain tapered band.

There's a dark shiny blackness to the stone with inscribed "bulls' eyes" designs carved into the surface. Our Silversmith has rubbed oil into the stone deepening the colour to bring out the detail, washing could remove this....

I wouldn't subject it to unnecessary violence or washing as the design may lose its contrast and the stone is relatively soft, but heck it's about 1700 years old so treat it with the respect it's due.

If you like you can wear this as an interesting pendant on a cord, but not if you're going to knock it around.


Age: Circa 400 AD.

Size: Ring size "R.5" (US 9)  Actual whorl diameter about 18 mm.

         (Overall L 40 mm x W 23 mm x D 18 mm.)

Weight: 19 grams..