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Home > Auctions > 7th September 2021 > Late Medieval 'With Love and Joy I Think of Thee' Gold Posy Ring

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LOT 0540

Estimate
GBP (£) 3,000 - 4,000
EUR (€) 3,530 - 4,700
USD ($) 4,180 - 5,570

Bid History: 1   |   Current bid: £2,700

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Bid History: 1   |   Current bid: £2,700

Late Medieval 'With Love and Joy I Think of Thee' Gold Posy Ring

Early-mid 16th century AD

A substantial gold posy ring with heavy D-section hoop, inscribed in black letter script around the interior and exterior faces: '+ with love and joie i thynk of thee' (exterior); '+ loke on thys gyft and thynk of me' (interior); remains of niello infill to the letters. 9.54 grams, 23.26mm overall, 18.96mm internal diameter (approximate size British S, USA 9, Europe 20, Japan 19) (1"). Very fine condition. A large wearable size.

Provenance
Property of an East Anglian gentleman; previously acquired in 1991 from the Kensington collectors' fair; accompanied by an independent specialist report and valuation, ref. no.177353/13/07/2021; this lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate number no.10764-177353.

Literature
See The Victoria and Albert Museum, accession number 895-1871, for a similar gold ring with inscriptions on the interior and exterior, albeit with a different posy, dated c.1500-1530.

Footnotes
The 'posy' name is derived from the 'poesy' (motto) engraved around the hoop. In medieval examples the posy is usually found around the hoop exterior, although on later examples inscriptions were more usually engraved on the interior. Rings with amatory inscriptions can be found from the 14th century AD onwards, when they served as love gifts, betrothal and wedding rings. Posy rings were also given to friends or used to mark significant occasions. Posies were composed by the giver, kept in stock by goldsmiths, or could be selected from published compendiums or commonplace books such as 'The Mysteries of Love or the Arts of Wooing' (1658 AD), or 'Love's Garland or Posies for Rings, Hand-kerchers and Gloves and such pretty tokens that Lovers send their Loves' (1674 AD). Rings were one genre of personal item amongst many to be adorned with posies at this time.