The Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum

Love and affection were frequently expressed by means of inscriptions. Rings so inscribed are known as 'posy' rings (from 'poesy' or poetry). Occasionally in Latin, these inscriptions are most commonly found in French, the language of courtly love, that would have been fairly widely understoon by the elite in medieval Europe. Love inscriptions on rings often repeat each other, which suggests that goldsmiths had reference books of stock phrases. The double setting on this ring, with the differing colours of red and blue, adds emphasis to the notion of a pair of lovers.The hidden compartment underneath the bezel, unseen to all and known only by the two lovers, may have held a further token of love.

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  • Title: Ring
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1395/1404
  • Location: France
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 2.3 cm, Width: 2.2 cm, :, Depth: 0.7 cm
  • Provenance: Given by Dame Joan Evans
  • Medium: Gold ring set with a sapphire and a garnet; engraved flowers and inscription on the hoop.

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