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Home > Auctions > 5th December 2023 > 'The Wingham' Gold 'Fortune Favours the Brave' Posy Ring

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LOT 0418

GBP (£) 800 - 1,000
EUR (€) 930 - 1,170
USD ($) 1,010 - 1,260

Sold for (Inc. bp): £2,080

1500-1650 A.D.
3/4 in. (1.45 grams, 18.86 mm overall, 16.70 mm internal diameter (approximate size British L 1/2, USA 5 3/4, Europe 11.24, Japan 10)).

Broadly rectangular in cross-section and constructed from two sheets of gold; the external hoop carrying an etched decorative design comprised of a row of eight-armed stars in relief with a prominent horizontal line connecting the stars; the internal hoop with Latin inscription in block capitals reading '+FORTES FORTVNA IVVAT' translating to 'fortune favours the brave/strong'; straightened.

Found whilst searching with a metal detector in Wingham, near Dover, Kent, UK, on Sunday 8th August 2021.

Accompanied by a copy of the British Museum's Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) report for Oxfordshire under reference no.KENT-8F86BC.
Accompanied by a copy of the report on find of potential Treasure for H M Coroner with reference no.2021T985.
Accompanied by a copy of the letter from HM Senior Coroner for Oxfordshire disclaiming the Crown's interest in the find.

See the British Museum's Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) SWYOR-FA9028 and DUR-23C436, for posy rings of similar form and decoration; see also The Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession no.L.2015.72.27, for a posy ring of similar construction.

The inscription is a Latin proverb used in the play Phormio by Terence in 151 B.C. It is possible that the inscription was intended as a devotion of loyalty and symbol of pride, instead of being given as a symbol of fidelity.