- Museum number
Finger-ring; gold; engraved; enamelled; inscribed wreathed hoop with foliate ornament; oblong bezel depicting Virgin and Child beneath canopy; inscription within hoop.
Diameter: 0.76 inches
Length: 0.40 inches (bezel)
Weight: 65 grains
- Curator's comments
- Text from Dalton 1912, Catalogue of Finger Rings
This is one of the rather numerous ring mentioned in the previous note ( p. 111, 'There can be no doubt that a number of these rings, whatever their original purpose, were used as betrothal or as love-rings, many being inscribed with legends which make this destination almost certain') which, while devotional in subject, may have been used as love-rings. The legend: Sans departir (lit., 'without distributing'; sense, 'all my love is yours') is frequently employed as a love motto. Thus it is found on a silver brooch from the Tower of London with the equally common words mon coeur avez (Arch. Journ., ix, p. 116); and on the ring no. 978 below in conjuction with the words a nul autre (ibid. v, p. 160). Cf. nos. 728, 736, 978, and Norwich Castle Museum, Catalogue, 1909, no. 997.
Mon coeur avez is a frequent motto on love-rings. Cf. nos. 742, 752, 1009, and the signet no. 558.
Text from Ward, Cherry et al, 'The Ring from Antiquity to the Twentieth Century,' London 1981, pl.180.
This is an example of the simplest type of iconographic ring: an oblong bezel with a single section that shows the Virgin and Child beneath a canopy. The outside of the wreathed hoop is engraved: MON CUER AVEZ and the inside: CANC DECYPARTIR; the two parts of the inscription mean 'you have my heart undivided'. This inscription occurs frequently on love rings and brooches; this ring illustrates that group of rings which, while devotional in subject, were also used as love rings.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2005-2006 25 Jul-13 Jan, Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, Buried Treasure: Finding Our Past
2005 12 Feb-26 Jun, Newcastle, Hancock Museum, Buried Treasure: Finding Our Past
2004-2005 1 Oct-15 Jan, Manchester Museum, Buried Treasure: Finding Our Past
2004 30 Apr-21 Sep, Cardiff, National Museums & Galleries of Wales, Buried Treasure: Finding Our Past
2003-2004 21 Nov-14 Mar, London, BM, Buried Treasure: Finding Our Past
- Enamel missing.
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number