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Home > Auctions > 24th November 2020 > 'The Wisbech' Medieval Gold and Sapphire Love Ring

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LOT 0530

GBP (£) 6,000 - 8,000
EUR (€) 6,610 - 8,810
USD ($) 7,780 - 10,380

Bid History: 2   |   Current bid: £5,900

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Bid History: 2   |   Current bid: £5,900

'The Wisbech' Medieval Gold and Sapphire Love Ring

Mid 14th-mid 15th century AD

A gold finger ring with D-section hoop, flared and cusped shoulders each with an inset garnet and heart-shaped reveal, trapezoidal bezel with claw setting for a cabochon sapphire; the underside flat with blackletter 'ihc' legend. 4.06 grams, 20.76mm overall, 16.13mm internal diameter (approximate size British K 1/2, USA 5 1/2, Europe 10.58, Japan 10) (3/4"). Very fine condition. Rare and important.

Found whilst searching with a metal detector on Monday 20th January 2020, near Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, 2020; recorded with Portable Antiquities Scheme and disclaimed under Treasure Act reference 2020-T74; accompanied by various documents including a letter from the British Museum stating that the ring is to be returned to the finder, and a copy of the PAS report number NMS-71D15D, and an independent specialist report and valuation by graduate gemmologist and jewellery expert Anna Rogers, GIA GG, BA, Gem-A, ref. no.165864/7/10/2020; this lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate number no.10224-165864.
Published under the Treasure Act, reference 2020-T74 and Portable Antiquities Scheme report number NMS-71D15D.
See Gaimster, G. & Gilchrist, R., The Archaeology of the Reformation 1480-1580, and Kunz, G., Rings for the Finger, 1973.
The HM Coroner report offers a date range of 1350-1550 AD, based on the overall format of the ring, the devotional significance of the Christogram (ihc) and the cut of the cabochon. A date in the later 16th century or beyond is regarded as improbable due to the prevailing religious climate of the Reformation.