Ring (1)


The Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum

The clasped hands on the bezel of this ring show that it is a fede ring. This type of ring was known in Roman times and has been used in Europe from the medieval period until the nineteenth century. The expression fede or mani in fede is taken from the Italian, meaning 'hands clasped in trust' and was often used on love gifts and marriage rings. The hoop of this ring can be divided into two interlocked circles. Rings made in this way are called gimmel rings, from the Latin word for twin. These rings were especially popular as love gifts, the join of the hoops symbolising the bond between lovers.

Around the inside of the hoop is the inscription in German 'CLEMEN KESSELER DEN 25 AUG AD 1607' (Clement Kesseler, 25th of August 1607). This suggests that the ring was made and worn to commemorate a special occasion such as a wedding.

This ring would originally have been brightly coloured with enamel, much of which has now been lost.

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  • Title: Ring (1)
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1607
  • Location: Germany
  • Physical Dimensions: Diameter: 2.30 cm rings joined together, Height: 0.6 cm, Width: 4.0 cm rings opened up
  • Medium: Cast gold, enamelled

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