- Museum number
Gold ring set with a late antique intaglio, probably chrome chalcedony, engraved with the figure of a man and with a legend written around the gold bezel.
- Production date
Height: 22 millimetres
Weight: 4.30 grammes (max)
Width: 22.40 millimetres
Depth: 16 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from Ward, Cherry et al, 'The Ring from Antiquity to the Twentieth Century,' London 1981, pl. 122.
This ring is a good example of a signet-ring set with a classical intaglio in the bezel. The hoop is a plain narrow band of triangular section. On the green plasma, a type of chalcedony, set in the centre of the bezel is a standing figure (probably Minerva) holding a branch. Around this stone is engraved the legend: RICHARD RE (G?) P. It has been argued that the last two words may indicate that the ring was the private seal of King Richard I of England, but it is also possible that it was a personal signet-ring of someone called Richard and that the last four letters formed the surname. The style of the inscription, together with the simple design of the ring, suggests a twelfth- or thirteenth-century date.
Text from 'Good Impressions: Image and Authority in Medieval Seals', ed. Adams, Cherry and Robinson. British Museum 2008. Handlist no. 7.2.
Signet ring of Richard I.
The Latin legend describes this ring as the private seal of King Richard. The gem intaglio depicts Mercury and can be dated c. AD 400.
- On display (G40/dc10/sB)
- Exhibition history
1999 6 Apr-30 Sep, France, Caen, Château de Falaise, Richard Coeur-de-Lion
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number