This is a nice Renaissance silver-gilt finger ring, dating to the 16th - 17th century A.D. The ring has a round bezel, decorated with the Christogram "IHS" device. The shoulders are also decorated in the form of leaves, possibly representing laurel leaves (as on a wreath).
The IHS Christogram is interpreted as meaning Iesus Hominum Salvator ("Jesus, Saviour of men" in Latin) or connected with In Hoc Signo. Such interpretations are known as backronyms. Used in Latin since the seventh century, the first use of IHS in an English document dates from the fourteenth century. The most famous use of this Christogram is on the seal of the order of Jesuits, who worked for the Vatican. Jesuits were especially involved in the counter-Reformation, having agents in England working directly on the orders of the Pope.
This ring has survived intact and in excavated condition, the lower band is distorted and has an impact crack (this can easily be repaired by a competent jeweller and worn again quite safely).
OBJECT: Finger Ring
DATE: c. 1550 - 1650 A.D.
RING SIZE: 8 1/2 (US) Q 3/4 (UK)
SIZE: 19mm x 24mm x 2mm (bezel 10mm x 9mm x 1.6mm)
WEIGHT: 3.1 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. European Private Collection, Munich.
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