Antique Swift & Fisher Priest's Ring Anointing Oil Jar Silver

Swift & Fisher was established around 1912 by Joseph H. Swift and Harry W. Fisher. They were known for making ecclesiastical goods and religious articles in Attleboro, Massachusetts. Harry Fisher came from a family of jewelry manufacturers, including his father, Clarence Fisher, and five uncles in the local area. Their business was eventually acquired by Alviti Creations, which is still in production today.

This is an engraved religious oil stock with a ring. It’s engraved with the letters “OI” which stands for the Latin “Oleum Infirmorum” or “oil of the sick”. An olive oil would have been used by the bishop of a diocese for use in the sacrament of anointing the sick. This sacrament gives grace for the state into which people enter through sickness, it forgives sins, renews confidence in faith, and strengthens the will against discouragement and despair.

This silver ecclesiastical ring was handcrafted in America around 1915. This piece measures 21.6 mm high and 22.7 mm in diameter, and it weighs 29.4 grams. The top of this ring unscrews, revealing a cloth and place for the anointing oil to be placed. The ring is a size 11.5. It bears the silver fineness mark, “STERLING” and the maker’s mark, “SF” with an arrow through the initials – which is the mark for Swift & Fisher.

Oil was a very integral part of people’s lives. It was used in cooking, for making sure lamps were lit, as a healing agent in medicines, for beauty, and for anointing guests and welcoming them into the home.

This piece is also engraved with the letters, “IHS”, which are the first few letters of “Jesus” or “ΙΗΣΟΥΣ”, in Greek. Later, these letters were mistaken as an abbreviation, eventually taken to mean, “Iesus Hominum Salvator” or “Jesus, Savior of Men”.

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Item ID: RGA23047VA



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