This is a nice medieval silver-gilt ring-brooch, dating to the 13th - 14th century AD. Ring-brooches are the most common type medieval brooch to survive and had a practical function: to fasten tunics, especially at the neck. Shaped as rings, with a long central pin, these brooches varied enormously in size and could be tiny, smaller than a fingernail. Ring-brooches were made of costly gold or silver, or of much cheaper copper or pewter. They were worn mostly until the late fourteenth century when changing fashions in dress included more closely tailored clothes and the growing use of button fastenings.
This example ius decorated with a pair of clasped hands in prayer, of a well-known design recorded as SF-E053D4, DENO-1AF752 and in gold LON-8B523A. The pin is of plain silver, with the brooch of silver-gilt for contrast. The back of th brooch having a light mercurial gold gilt, partly worn through use. A nice piece of medieval jewelry, that can still be worn again today.
DATE: c. 1250 - 1350 AD
MATERIAL: Silver/gold gilded
SIZE: 23mm x 17mm
WEIGHT: 1.19 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. Private Collection, Durham.
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