I guess it's a piece of metalwork that would likely sell for a ton of money, regardless of where it's from. Some people say it looks vaguely Celtic or Runic. It's anyone's guess.
However, the entire shape comes from an equation. It's the same basic formula as Spiral Isosurface II, only there are 8 copies, and frequency/radius become quadratic functions of X instead of constants. Yeah, I usually just show people the image instead.
Different experience entirely than trying to model it by hand... I can change parameters around and modify things pretty easily.