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Ring

15th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Silver or gold 'iconographic' rings engraved with the figures of saints were particularly common in the 14th and 15th century and seem to have been a largely British type. The religious imagery was often combined with romantic inscriptions suggesting that they may sometimes have been used as love gifts or wedding rings. In 1463, John Baret of Bury St Edmunds bequeathed to 'Elizabeth .. my wyf a ryng of golde with an ymage of the Trinite' (Bury Wills, p. 36). They often feature the most venerated saints of the middle ages: Sts Christopher, Catherine, Margaret, Barbara, John the Baptist. The choice of saint was probably dictated by local loyalties, membership of confraternities devoted to a saint or the desire to invoke that saint's help in a particular matter.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Engraved gold, formerly enamelled
Brief Description
Gold ring, with traces of enamel, depicting St. John the Baptist and St. Catherine, the transverse fluted hoop decorated with sprigs. Inscribed behind in black letter tut. pur. un England, 15th century
Physical Description
Gold ring, with traces of enamel, depicting St. John the Baptist and St. Catherine, the transverse fluted hoop decorated with sprigs. Inscribed behind in black letter tut. pur. un
Dimensions
  • Height: 2.3cm
  • Width: 2.2cm
  • Depth: 0.9cm
Marks and Inscriptions
inscribed tut. pur. un (behind; in black letter)
Credit line
Given by Dame Joan Evans
Object history
ex Sir Arthur Evans Collection
Subjects depicted
Summary
Silver or gold 'iconographic' rings engraved with the figures of saints were particularly common in the 14th and 15th century and seem to have been a largely British type. The religious imagery was often combined with romantic inscriptions suggesting that they may sometimes have been used as love gifts or wedding rings. In 1463, John Baret of Bury St Edmunds bequeathed to 'Elizabeth .. my wyf a ryng of golde with an ymage of the Trinite' (Bury Wills, p. 36). They often feature the most venerated saints of the middle ages: Sts Christopher, Catherine, Margaret, Barbara, John the Baptist. The choice of saint was probably dictated by local loyalties, membership of confraternities devoted to a saint or the desire to invoke that saint's help in a particular matter.
Collection
Accession Number
M.211-1975

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record createdMarch 3, 2006
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