After the prolonged and destructive Thirty Years War of 1618-48, Europe split into a Catholic south and a Protestant north. In the Catholic part, including Austria and southern Germany, almost all the traditional jewellery included religious motifs. Many of these pieces were bought at the pilgrimage places in the Alpine region, which sprung up after the end of the war.
This ring carries the image of St. Anthony of Padua. Women hoped for his help with many kinds of problem, including infertility and protection in pregnancy.
The diagonal bars on the back of the shank are typical of South German traditional rings.