- Museum number
Love-ring; gold; engraved; once enamelled; broad hoop decorated with three lozenge-shaped panels depicting Trinity, Virgin and Child and unidentified male saint; intervening spaces filled with flowers and foliage; inscription within hoop.
- Production date
Diameter: 19.60 millimetres
Weight: 15.448 grammes
Depth: 11.30 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from Dalton 1912, Catalogue of Finger Rings:
Dug up at Godstow Nunnery, near Oxford.
Arch. Journ. xx, p. 195; Cat. of Antiquities, &c., exhibited in Ironmongers Hall, 1869, ii, p. 487.
The ring was evidently a love-ring, but the ornament resembles that of the iconographic class. It was long described as 'Fair Rosamond's ring'.
Text from Ward, Cherry et al, 'The Ring from Antiquity to the Twentieth Century,' London 1981, pl.196.
The outside of this hoop is richly engraved with flowers of six and eight petals amidst long pointed leaves into which three diamond-shaped panels are set. The panels contain engravings of the Trinity, the Virgin and a male saint. The exterior of this ring was formerly enamelled. The religious iconography of the outside contrasts with the amatory black-letter inscription in English engraved inside (Fig. 8): MOST IN MYND AND IN MYN HERT/ LOTHEST FROM YOU FER TO DEPART. It was once believed that this ring belonged to Rosamund, the mistress of Henry II (1154-89), but the style of both the decoration and the inscription indicate that it was produced about three hundred years later.
According to William Jones, 'Finger-Ring Lore' (London 1877), pp. 393-4, the ring was shown at the Archaeological Institute in March 1863 by the Rev. James Beck.
- On display (G40/dc14/sC)
- Exhibition history
2003-2004 9 Oct-18 Jan, London, V&A, Gothic: Art for England 1400-1547
2017-2018 1 Dec-22 Apr, Oxford, Bodleian Library, Designing English
- Enamel missing.
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number