Medieval English Gold & Ruby Stirrup Ring
This is a delightful medieval English gold and ruby stirrup ring, dating to the early 13th century. It was discovered last November near Boroughbridge in north Yorkshire, recorded by finds officer at the Museum of Lancashire (LANCUM-211EEA). Subsequently disclaimed by the Crown as treasure and returned to the Landowner.
This ring is of the type known as a 'Stirrup' ring, named by Victorian collectors during the 19th century (due to the shape resembling horses stirrups). Further research and study into this genre of the ring, has concluded the 'stirrup' shape is likely a representation of Gothic arches, as found in the ornate windows of Cathedrals of the period. Such rings are often associated with the ecclesiastic community, such as Bishop's, Abbots and Priors. This ring is clearly designed for a lady so it is possible whilst larger rings for men, this example once belonged to an Abbess. The site where this ring was excavated, had close links with the nearby Fountains Abbey.
Today this wonderful treasure has survived in excellent condition, the ruby intact and still mounted in the original rubbed setting. The ring bears a few scuffs and dints from centuries rolling around in a plowed field, testimony to its great age and adventures. Just imagine the history behind this ring, worn by an Abbess or noble Lady, during the period of King John, the Baron's Wars, Signing of the Magna Carta and the Crusades!!! ...and it can still be worn again today with care!
OBJECT: Stirrup ring
CULTURE: Medieval England
DATE: c. 1220 A.D. (early 13th century A.D.)
MATERIAL: Gold & Ruby (tested)
SIZE: 23mm, the width is 20mm thick
RING SIZE: 5 1/2 (US) L (UK)
WEIGHT: 1.47 grams
PROVENANCE: Discovered near Boroughbridge in North Yorkshire, Monday 2nd October 2017. Recorded with Lancashire Museum, Returned to landowner after being disclaimed as Treasure. LANCUM-211EEA