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Ring

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1577 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Engraved gold

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dame Joan Evans

  • Museum number:

    M.53-1960

  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 8, shelf D, box 21

From at least the fifteenth century, candidates called to be admitted to the ranks of Serjeants-at-Law (from whom judges were appointed) were required to present rings bearing a suitable motto to the monarch and various dignitaries. They frequently also gave further rings as souvenirs to their friends. The practice came to an end when the office was abolished by the Judicature Act of 1875. New mottoes were chosen at each call; the rings differing in value according to the rank of their recipients. The rings were generally gold with a suitable motto inscribed around the outer hoop.

Physical description

Serjeant-at-Law's gold ring inscribed on the outside 'LEX.REGIS.PRAESIDIUM', general call of 1577.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

ca. 1577 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Engraved gold

Marks and inscriptions

inscribed 'LEX.REGIS.PRAESIDIUM'
'Law is the King's protection'
General call of 1577

Dimensions

Depth: 0.6 cm, Diameter: 1.6 cm, Weight: 1.7 g

Object history note

This motto was used at the call of 1577 when Edward Fenner became a Serjeant. The goldsmith Richard Pindar is known to have made some of the serjeants rings during this period but candidates might also commission another goldsmith to make rings as private gifts.

Descriptive line

Serjeant-at-Law's gold ring inscribed on the outside 'LEX.REGIS.PRAESIDIUM' (Law is the King's protection); General call of 1577, possibly by Richard Pindar, England, about1577.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Somers-Cock, Anna, Princely Magnificence: court jewels of the Renaissance, 1500-1630, V&A, 1980, pp.62-3, cat. 47

Materials

Gold

Subjects depicted

Law

Categories

Ceremonial objects; Jewellery; Metalwork

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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