Check out this sites guide on this puzzle. It is part of a quest where you interact with Velehk Sain. UESP's Page on The Midden explains how to activate it:
The Midden Dark contains a ritual chamber with a
large black metal gauntlet on a
pedestal. The symbol of Oblivion is emblazened on the palm of the gauntlet.
The Midden Incident Report can be found on the table here,
along with the Investigator's Key.
Following the clues in the report,
the player can find the needed rings in the Arcanaeum,
in a master-locked chest. The lock can be picked,
or simply opened with the key.
Returning the rings to the gauntlet will activate it,
and the gauntlet will clench into a fist.
Shortly afterwards the dremora Velehk Sain will be summoned.
Hope this helps