Collection online

finger-ring

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    AF.1075

  • Description

    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.

  • Date

    • 15thC(early)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Depth: 11.3 millimetres
    • Diameter: 19.6 millimetres
    • Weight: 15.448 grammes
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        hoop(interior)
      • Inscription Content

        Most in mynd and yn myn herrt Lothest from you ferto departt.
  • 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.

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Ward et al 1981 bibliographic details
    • Tait 1976 438 bibliographic details
    • Tait 1986 608 bibliographic details
    • Dalton 1912 962 bibliographic details
    • Marks & Williamson 2003 no. 252, pg. 371 bibliographic details
    • Evans 1931 p. 11 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G40/dc14/sC

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:
    2003-2004 9 Oct-18 Jan, London, V&A, Gothic: Art for England 1400-1547

  • Condition

    Enamel missing.

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1897

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number

    AF.1075


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Object reference number: MCM809

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