This is a wonderful and very rare medieval gold posy ring, inscribed outside the band with "Honneur et yoye", for "Honour and Joy". The style of lettering in blackletter script gives us a date of 1370 - 1500 A.D. Rings inscribed with a Gothic script or "black letter rings", such as this example, were associated with the culture of chivalry and courtly love prompting gifts or tokens as expressions of love. These rings are typically engraved with short inscriptions and floral designs around the exterior and filled with niello or enamel.
The ring belongs to a group generally recognized as love rings due to their sentimental inscriptions. In the medieval period, they were usually known as "Reasons", but from 1430 (A.D.) they came to be called "Posies" (posey, or poetry) rings (Oman 1974, 39). Black Letter inscriptions appear from the mid 14th century onwards, until the beginning of the 16th century when Roman capitals become the more fashionable script. This legend is known from at least five other finger rings, see Evans, Joan English Posies and Posy Rings, 1931), 8; and on a heart-shaped brooch recorded on the PAS database, LEIC-070179, NARC-EA0D85, YORYM-14C344,
This is a very good example, with a nice inscription and floral sprays.
OBJECT: Posy Ring
DATE: c. 1370 - 1500
RING SIZE: 5 1/4 (US) K 1/4 (UK)
SIZE: 16.89mm x 3.69mm
WEIGHT: 1.12 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex-Private Collection, Wiltshire.
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