Posted on January 5, 2020 at 4:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

News we missed in November: A ring that Oscar Wilde gave to a friend has been recovered, seventeen years after it was stolen from Oxford University.

Arthur Brand, dubbed the “Indiana Jones of the Art World,” told Agence France-Presse that in 2015, he began hearing rumors of an unusual Victorian ring floating around the black market.

Eventually, it landed with an owner who — upon learning of the ring’s provenance — quickly handed it over to authorities so that it could return to Oxford last month.

Smithsonian Magazine, which shared the news from other media outlets, describes the ring as having a Greek inscription that translates to “Gift of love, to one who wishes love” on the outside, with Wilde and his friends’ initials on the inside.

Wilde, the author of The Picture of Dorian Gray and the play The Importance of Being Earnest, and his friend Reginald Harding had, together, given the ring to William Ward in 1876 while they were students at Oxford.

Historians had feared that the ring was long ago melted down, so the recovery is a relief on many levels.

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Categories: Today in Books

Tagged As: Memorabilia

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