- Museum number
Gold signet-ring with a massive channeled hoop and a circular bezel engraved with a lion passant regardant (?) statant guardant (?) and a scroll with a motto in black letter.
- Production date
Diameter: 30 millimetres (hoop)
Depth: 15.70 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from Marks & Payne 1978, see bibliography:
'This ring was found on the site of the battlefield of Towton (1461), and has been associated with Henry Percy, 3rd Earl of Northumberland, who died in the battle. The Percy arms, however, do not include a lion passant, and there is no evidence to connect the motto with this family.'
Text from 'Good Impressions: Image and Authority in Medieval Seals', ed. Adams, Cherry and Robinson. British Museum 2008. Handlist no.10.1.
Signet ring of the Percy family.
Signet rings were used as counterseals, or private seals, for extra security. they were particularly popular from c. 1400. The lion on this signet was the family crest of the Percys. It is used here with the motto 'Now is thus'.
Text from Braybrooke Catalogue no. 299.
A splendid gold signet, found on the field of Towton: the hoop is massive and broad, convex on the centre, with two line furrows down it, forming a trench on either side. The signet is slightly raised and projects on two sides; a beautiful line border is round the edges, and in the centre a very spirited figure of a lion with tail curled over its back, and head errect; above it, inscription in old characters, which after much trouble, with Mr Utting's aid, I deciphered; 'now: ps:' thus; - the Lion is clearly the Percy crest; the PS stands for Per Se; one of the numerous family mottos; and the attitude of the creature just about to spring, is well suited to a war cry, and agrees well with the era when the celebrated battle was fought at the place where this ring was found. It is well known and has been before described, but for many years has been missing, until lately, when it was purchased by Mr. Durlacher in Paris -740grs.
- On display (G40/dc1)
- Exhibition history
2015 1 Jun- 31 Aug, Durham, Palace Green Library, Magna Carta and the Changing Face of Revolt.
2014 18 Jul-28 Sep, Jarrow, Bede's World, Banner of the North
2014 19-30 Mar, Gloucester City Museum and Art Gallery, Richard III
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number