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Home > Auctions > 29th November 2022 > 'The Breamore House' Medieval Bi-Gold 'Think Of Him By Whom I Am Here' Posy Ring

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LOT 0322

Sold for (Inc. bp): £5,460

3/4 in. (3.16 grams, 21.56 mm overall, 18.41 mm internal diameter (approximate size British P, USA 7 1/2, Europe 16.23, Japan 15)).

A gold posy ring composed of a D-section band, the external face decorated with spiralling double-beaded rose gold bands alternating with recessed pale gold bands; the interior bearing an Anglo-French inscription in Lombardic script: '+DE LVI:PENSEZ.PAR.KI SVI:SI:' for 'Think of Him by whom I am here', with traces of black niello inlay.

Found whilst searching with a metal detector on Monday 19th April 2021 on land belonging to Breamore House, Breamore, New Forest, Hampshire, UK.
Accompanied by a copy of the British Museum's Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) report number HAMP-14F3E5.
Accompanied by a copy of the Treasure Report number 2021 T260 for H M Coroner, and a copy of the letter from the British Museum disclaiming the Crown's interest in the find.
Accompanied by a typed detailed account from the finder explaining the circumstances of discovery.
Accompanied by a copy of a reference page from the Victoria & Albert Museum where it states: 'until around 1350 the style of lettering took the form of the rounded capitals, known as Lombardic script, and from that date until after 1500 lettering was in the spiky script known as Gothic'.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by search certificate no.114448-193623.

See British Museum Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), reference no. HAMP-14F3E5 and Treasure Act, reference 2021 T260 (this ring).

Cf. The British Museum, museum number 1967,1208.1, for the comparable Fishpool ring dated 1400-1464 A.D.; cf. The V&A Museum, accession number 889-1871 and M.184-1975, for two different styles of medieval ring dated 1200-1300, also bearing this and similar inscriptions.

Late medieval posy rings were gifted by men and women as expressions of love, as wedding rings, and as a show of friendship, the interior inscription hidden to everyone besides the giver and wearer. The posy engraved on the interior of the hoop here is intended to evoke fond thoughts of the giver when gazed upon by the wearer, often with an inscription in French, the language of courtly love, and spoken widely by the elite in medieval Europe.

The accompanying PAS report states: 'The inscription has been confirmed and translated by Dr Malcolm Jones, formerly of Sheffield University. He comments this is a 'relatively common Anglo-French amatory inscription. The spelling with initial K is a characteristically English as opposed to (Continental) French spelling. Dr Jones notes this phrase is usually written as a rhyming couplet...Posy rings are typically a plain gold so the use of two golds in this decorative form is of note. A similar form of spiral bands of plain and beaded decoration is found on a ring from the Fishpool Hoard, Nottinghamshire, now in the British Museum collection and dated to 1400-1464...However, the Fishpool example is plain gold and formed from single decorative strands rather than the double beading found on this Hampshire example. The two incised lines on the exterior (of the ring on sale) may represent a casting error rather than damage, as they overlie a small incomplete area in the beaded band.'