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Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 8, shelf D, box 8
The two pivoted hoops of this ring are engraved with a romantic motto known as a posy. The outer hoop of the ring reads ‘Accept this gift of honest love which never could nor can remove’. The inner inscription ‘Hath tied me sure whilst life doth last’ suggests that the ring may have been used in a wedding or to symbolise the ties of love. The association of posies with weddings is alluded to by the parson in Ben Jonson’s comedy, The Magnetic Lady’(1632), who asks: ‘Have you a wedding ring? and receives the reply ‘Ay, and a posie’.
Rings, as now, were one of the most popular gifts for lovers and a central part of the wedding service. Posy rings were engraved with romantic mottoes, either chosen by the giver or taken from contemporary books such as The Mysteries of Love and Eloquence or the Art of Wooing and Complimenting, published in 1658. The unusually elaborate posy on this ring suggests that it was chosen with care.
Gold ring with two pivoted hoops, inscribed inside 'ACCEPT. THIS. GIFT/OF. HONEST. LOVE. WHICH. NEVER. COVLD/NOR. CAN. REMOVE.' and on the outside '1.HATH.TIDE/ 2 MEE.SVRE/ 3 WHILST.LIFE/ 4 DOTH.LAST.'
Place of Origin
Materials and Techniques
Marks and inscriptions
inscribed 'ACCEPT. THIS. GIFT/OF. HONEST. LOVE. WHICH. NEVER. COVLD/NOR. CAN. REMOVE.'
Inscribed '1.HATH.TIDE/ 2 MEE.SVRE/ 3 WHILST.LIFE/ 4 DOTH.LAST.'
Depth: 0.4 cm, Diameter: 1.8 cm
Object history note
ex Waterton Collection. Acquired by Waterton at Bury St Edmunds in 1854
Gold ring with two pivoted hoops, inscribed inside 'ACCEPT.THIS.GIFT/OF.HONEST.LOVE.WHICH.NEVER.COVLD/NOR.CAN.REMOVE.' and on the outside '1.HATH.TIDE/ 2 MEE.SVRE/ 3 WHILST.LIFE/ 4 DOTH.LAST.', England, 1600-1700.
Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)
Oman, C.C., Catalogue of Rings (London, 1930), p.106, no.676
Bury, Shirley, Jewellery Gallery Summary Catalogue (London, 1982), p.214 (34 D 27)
Church, Rachel Rings (London, 2011), p.42, pl.47
Jewellery; Metalwork; Europeana Fashion Project