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Home > Auctions > 19th June 2013 > Medieval Norman Gold Epigraphic 'Robert Dux' Finger Ring

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LOT 1185

Sold for (Inc. bp): £14,520

1" (17 grams, 25 mm overall, 18.80 mm internal diameter (approximate size British R, USA 8 3/4, Europe 19.0, Japan 18)).

A substantial, finely made finger ring with square-section D-shaped hoop, inturned shoulders and openwork bezel formed as a cross moline; to the underside of the hoop the text 'ROBERT' in capitals and along one face the text 'DVX'; attributed to Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy, son of William I (the Conqueror) and brother of William II (Rufus); offered with fragments of a Henry II 'Tealby' penny (broken) issued at the Canterbury mint, found with the ring at the time of its discovery. The cross moline appears as a charge and emblem in medieval heraldry and also appears as the reverse central design on the early pennies of Stephen; the lettering forms, of Roman capitals with serifs is typical of the those seen on English coinage of Henry I and later.

From a Hampshire collection; disclaimed under Treasure Act, reference: 2006 T626; found Buriton, Hampshire, UK in 2006.

Published: Hammond B. British Artefacts - Volume 3 - Late Saxon, Late Viking & Norman, p.59, item 1.7.-f.

The ring was widely reported in the press at the time of its discovery (e.g. The News (Portsmouth), November 17, 2011 and elsewhere). The ring was formerly on display at the Goldsmiths' Company's London premises (Goldsmiths' Hall) in the exhibition 'Gold: Power and Allure' during June and July 2012, timed to coincide with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. It was disclaimed by the crown as the British Museum could not securely date it, as 'the general shape and design has no pre-1706 parallels'. Accompanied by a copy of a newspaper, with article entitled 'Treasure hunter's greatest find to go on royal display'; another entitled 'Breaking fresh ground to dig up this country's past'; and another entitled 'Does ring found in field date back to Norman conquest?'; plus various original letters and other documentation from The Goldsmiths' Company regarding the loan of the Robert, Duke of Normandy ring; and correspondence from the British Museum.