This is a rare Elizabethan silver-gilt posy ring, dating to the mid to late 16th century. The ring is of a 'D' shaped band, the interior gilt and inscribed in italics "Rather die then faith deni". The religious sentiment of this ring would suggest it to have belonged to a Catholic, one who refused to accept the "1558 Recusancy Act" making it a legal obligation to worship in the Anglican faith, throughout Queen Elizabeth's reign. The original owner would have worn this ring as a wedding band, but the secret message concealed inside would have been an encouragement and reminder to "keep the faith" despite the persecution. It appears the band has had a resizing at one time, so maybe it was passed on to a relative or spouse. The join is early and still very solid. A great ring full of character and history!
OBJECT: Posy Ring
CULTURE: Tudor (Queen Elizabeth Ist period)
DATE: c. 1558 - 1603
RING SIZE: 9 (US) R 3/4 (UK)
SIZE: 22mm x 6mm
WEIGHT: 4.3 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex-private collection, Napier. New Zealand.
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