Magical Medieval Amulet Ring Three Magi Inscribed Posy
This is a fabulous medieval magical silver-gilt finger ring, dating to the early 15th century. The ring is entirely inscribed on the outer band in black-letter-script, with the names of the three kings or magi, "+ / casper / melcor / baltaser ". The inscription starts with a cross then a sprig, and each name separated with simplified sprigs. For a similar but fragmentary ring see NMS-6FA0F0 or AF.1017in the British Museum. The names of the Three Kings were thought to be especially efficacious against epilepsy and fever; their popularity owed much to that of the Shrine of the Three Kings at Cologne. The names are found engraved on both rings and brooches.
Text from Dalton 1912, Catalogue of Finger Rings
The names of the Magi, or Three Kings, do not occur in the Canonical or Apochryphal Gospels; it has been suggested that they may be of Mithraic origin, and that they may be borrowed from titles of Mithras as 'the White One', 'the King of Light', 'the Lord of Treasures' (C.W. King, Arch. Journ. xxvi, p. 234). They were supposed to be of especial efficacy against falling sickness, though the Stockholm MS. (see under no. 866) includes them in a long charm against fever (Archaeologia, xxx, p. 400).
This ring is a wonderful example, intact with very little wear. The script is of English workmanship so too the spellings of the names. This ring came from a private collection of quality early rings so I don't have an exact find location, however, it is a genuine piece in perfect wearable condition.
OBJECT: Amulet Ring
DATE: c. 1380 - 1420 A.D.
RING SIZE: 11 (US) V 1/2 (UK)
SIZE: 24mm x 5mm
WEIGHT: 5 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. Private Collection, Salisbury