Medieval Bronze Signet Ring Crowned 'R'
This is a nice medieval signet ring, dating to the 15th - 16th century A.D. The ring is decorated with a crowned Lombardic letter 'R', likely the first letter of a name such as 'Richard'. A similar crowned letter 'R' signet ring has been recorded from Winchester (SUR-EBD17). The ring is a large example, likely worn on the thumb or over a glove.
Similar stirrup-shaped signet rings bearing single letters were found in excavations in Salisbury, and were dated to the 15th century (Saunders and Saunders eds 1991: 42/fig. 12, cf. nos. 17 - 19). Two further rings, albeit of different shape, bore a Lombardic 'T' (ibid. nos. 21 and 22). These examples were dated from the 15th to 16th centuries. According to the authors, a study of seals in the Public Record Office has shown that the letter on the ring relates to the Christian name of the owner, with 'T' probably standing for 'Thomas' in most cases (ibid. 40).
This ring is in excavated condition, it has lost some of the edges and has a crack to the band. Still a nice collectible example with a nice olive green patina.
OBJECT: Signet Ring
DATE: c. 1400 - 1550 A.D.
RING SIZE: 12 3/4 (US) Z 1/2 (UK)
SIZE: 27mm x 28mm x 4mm (bezel 15mm x 9mm x 3mm)
WEIGHT: 5.4 grams
PROVENANCE: Formerly in a private Hertfordshire collection