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Unusual Brass Finger Ring Cast with Santa Claus' Sleigh & Eight Reindeer
Cochin (Kochi), Kerala, India
20th century

length: 6.5cm, height: 5.3cm, weight: 40g

This extremely unusual ring is the ultimate in cross-cultural form and iconography. From the Cochin area of Kerala, in India's tropical south, it is a large brass
finger ring cast with a European Christmas-inspired scene of a sleigh and reindeer. The hoop of the ring arches upwards to give the impression that the
reindeer are flying.

The sleigh, in European Christmas lore, is used by Saint Nicholas (also known as Father Christmas or Santa Claus) to deliver Christmas gifts to children
around the world. The sleigh is pulled by a team of magical, flying reindeer.

There are eight reindeer on the ring - in keeping with Christmas tradition. The reindeer's names are Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner,
and Blitzen, based on the 1823 poem 'A Visit from St. Nicholas' (commonly called 'The Night Before Christmas').

That Christmas iconography should be used in Cochin and Kerala more generally is not unexpected. Cochin was occupied by the Portuguese in the sixteenth
century and thereafter maintained strong trading links with Europe. Christianity was established there early on and today, Cochin is home to the oldest church
in India, as well as a vibrant local Indian Christian community.

The ring is in excellent condition.

Provenance:  UK private collection; acquired by the owner in Kerala.

Inventory no.: 2993

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St Francis Church in Cochin, the first church to be build in India,
photographed in January 2015.