Medieval Gold & Ruby / Garnet Finger Ring
This is an excellent medieval gold finger ring, dating to the 13th - 14th century. It is set with a dark ruby or garnet, which later replaced the sapphire in popularity. The size would suggest this ring was originally worn by a man, thus the bezel is raised to sit higher on the finger. This example is comparable with SWYOR-5B9C01 found in Yorkshire. This ring is likely to be English in origin, the shape and use of a garnet are particular to the London goldsmiths of the 1350's. However, it appears to have been found in France. On one of the decorated shoulders it bears a tiny oval punch, which appears to be an owl hallmark (marked on gold that has been brought to the French assay office for testing from 1898) On antique gold items not bearing any hallmarks, it was common to have very early or antique pieces marked before being sold by dealers as gold from this date. This is a nice romantic story of the piece, possibly lost by an English knight or aristocrat in France, during the Hundred Years War. A nice and wearable medieval finger ring in good wearable condition.
OBJECT: Finger Ring
DATE: c. 1280 - 1420 A.D.
MATERIAL: Gold & Ruby / Garnet
RING SIZE: 11 (US) V 1/2 (UK)
SIZE: 25.27mm x 21.94mm x 1.86mm (Bezel 9.25mm x 7.59mm x 6.18mm)
PROVENANCE: Ex. Private Collection, Chelmsford, Ex. D. Winchester, also ex D. Grover collections.