Tudor Silver Gilt Lovers Knot Signet Ring I.D. Initials

Code: 10383


This is a wonderful Tudor period signet ring, dating to the 16th century A.D. The ring was unearthed in North Riding of Yorkshire back in 1987. It has a letter from Christies with a nice archaeological illustration, identification, and information (included with the sale). 

The ring is typical of a mid to late 16th-century signet, combining the initials of the owner and his wife within a lovers knot (similar examples can be found in the V&A 841-1871M.228-1975,  recorded SOM-58AAB9GLO-9994DEDOR-2334D9 etc). The letters "R" and "E" linked with a lovers' knot, one of four pieces of jewellery with floriated letters, from the 'Jewellery Book' in the British Museum.

The initials are I.D. this would likely stand for a John and Dorothy (Dorothy was a common name in Tudor England, I have found no other female names beginning with 'D' for this date). Interestingly for the area in which the ring was recovered, a certain John Woods had married a Dorothy Wentworth in 1607 (See image and "Yorkshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 12")

This ring has an old cut to the lower band, this can easily be closed by a jeweller or used for resizing. I have left the ring in untouched and 'as found' condition. As you can see it still retains earthy deposits, even after 31 years! A fabulous signet ring from the age of Queen Elizabeth and William Shakespeare!

OBJECT: Signet Ring


DATE: c. 1580 - 1620 A.D.

MATERIAL: Silver-gilt

RING SIZE:    7 1/4  (US)      O 1/2  (UK)

SIZE: 20mm x 21mm x 2mm (bezel 17mm x 15mm x 2mm)

WEIGHT:  6.4 grams

PROVENANCE:  Ex. Private Collection, Yorkshire

Tudor Silver Gilt Lovers Knot Signet Ring I.D. Initials