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Ring

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1500-1600 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Engraved gold

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dame Joan Evans

  • Museum number:

    M.67-1960

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 58, case 5

Object Type
This gold love ring is engraved on the outside with sprigs and on the inside with an inscription in in floriated (flowery) capitals: 'I AM YOURS KS'.

Ownership & Use
By 1430 love rings engraved with inscriptions were known as 'posies' (from 'poesy' or poetry). In the 13th and 14th centuries the language of the posy was usually French, but from the 15th century English became increasingly common. Rings were given on many occasions. They often seem to have been declarations of love, rather than formal betrothal or marriage rings.

With many posy rings, it is reasonable to suppose that the initials after the declaration of love were those of an ardent lover. In this case the initials are 'KS', which are also found on another posy ring, accompanied by an identical declaration of love. This seems a considerable coincidence. Although no proof can be produced to support it, the inscription on these two rings, 'KS', may stand for 'Kiss' or 'Kisses'.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1500-1600 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Engraved gold

Marks and inscriptions

Engraved inside 'I AM YOURS KS'

Dimensions

Diameter: 1.9 cm estimated

Object history note

Made in England

Descriptive line

Gold posy ring, engraved 'I am yours KS'. England, 1500-1600.

Labels and date

British Galleries:
THREE RINGS

Rings engraved with declarations of love were called posy rings (from 'poesy' meaning poetry). It is frequently not possible to tell which love rings were wedding rings, unless, like two of these rings, they make a direct reference to marriage. Any ring could be a wedding ring, and plain gold bands did not become common until the second half of the 17th century. Interlinking rings are known as gimmel rings (gimmel means twin). They symbolised the joining of two people. [27/03/2003]

Categories

Jewellery; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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