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Home > Auctions > 9th September 2015 > Medieval Gold 'I am Loyal' Iconographic Ring

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LOT 1962

Sold for (Inc. bp): £34,720

1" (14.96 grams, 23.56mm overall, 19.84mm internal diameter (approximate size British T 1/2; USA 10; Europe 20; Japanese 20)).

A solid iconographic ring with ridged bezel of three panels depicting an angel to the right, God the Father holding the infant Christ in the centre and the Virgin Mary to the left, as viewed; the band tapering evenly in width from the shoulders to the narrowest point at the back and decorated all around with six diagonal lines of beading set on the line cusps; in the broad bands adjacent to the bezel, engraved pairs of foliage motifs of flowers on stems with star between; inscribed to the inside of the bezel, a form of 'I AM LOYAL' in black letter script.

Property of an East Sussex gentleman; acquired in the 1980s by his mother as part of a jewellery collection from a private collector in Theale, Newbury, Berkshire, UK; by descent 2012.

Accompanied by an Art Loss Register certificate.

See Dalton, O. M., Catalogue of the Finger Rings.....Bequeathed by Sir Augustus Wollaston Franks, BM 1912, no. 722 (for wording) and nos. 757-760 (for triple bezel panels).

The form of inscription wording 'LOIAL' (for loyal) in black letter is seen on another iconographic ring (Franks 722) of the same period and such rings are typically engraved with depictions of figures of saints, Mother and Child, God and Christ or similar. They combine religious imagery with romantic posies; they often feature the most venerated saints of the Middle Ages typically including Christopher, Catherine, Margaret, Barbara, and John the Baptist amongst others.