Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Ring

  • Place of origin:

    France (made)
    England (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    c. 1400 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gold ring set with a sapphire and a garnet; engraved flowers and inscription on the hoop.

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dame Joan Evans

  • Museum number:

    M.189-1962

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Love and affection were frequently expressed by means of inscriptions. Rings so inscribed are known as 'posy' rings (from 'poesy' or poetry). Occasionally in Latin, these inscriptions are most commonly found in French, the language of courtly love, that would have been fairly widely understoon by the elite in medieval Europe. Love inscriptions on rings often repeat each other, which suggests that goldsmiths had reference books of stock phrases. The double setting on this ring, with the differing colours of red and blue, adds emphasis to the notion of a pair of lovers.The hidden compartment underneath the bezel, unseen to all and known only by the two lovers, may have held a further token of love.

Physical description

Gold finger ring, set with a sapphire and a garnet. The wide shoulders are engraved with foliate motifs, and terminate in a broad bezel with a double setting, containing a sapphire and a garnet. Underneath this bezel is a compartment covered by a sliding panel. Inscribed inside the hoop, an inscription in Gothic script.

Place of Origin

France (made)
England (possibly, made)

Date

c. 1400 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Gold ring set with a sapphire and a garnet; engraved flowers and inscription on the hoop.

Marks and inscriptions

'► oue ► tout ► mon ► coer ►'
French, 'with all my heart'.

Inscribed in Gothic script inside the hoop.

Dimensions

Height: 2.3 cm, Width: 2.2 cm, :, Depth: 0.7 cm

Descriptive line

Gold finger ring set with a sapphire and a garnet; engraved flowers and inscription on the hoop.

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

Campbell, Marian. Medieval Jewellery in Europe 1100-1500, London: V&A Publishing, 2009. ISBN 9781851775828
Exhibition of English Mediaeval Art, 1930 [Catalogue of the exhibition held at the Victoria and Albert Museum, with an introduction by Eric Maclagan]. London: Board of Education, May 1930; rev. edn August 1930).
Evans, Joan. English Posies and Posy Rings: A Catalogue. London: Oxford University Press / H. Milford, 1931.

Labels and date

1. Gold, originally enamelled, set with a ruby and a sapphire.
Inscribed Oue . tout . mon . coer.
ENGLISH: 15th century.
Sir Arthur Evans Collection.
Given by Dr. Joan Evans, P.P.S.A.
M.189-1962 [1972-1982]

Materials

Gold; Sapphire; Garnet

Techniques

Engraving

Categories

Metalwork; Jewellery; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection

Metalwork Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.