Tudor Silver Gilt Lovers Knot Signet Ring I.D. Initials
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 841-1871, M.228-1975, recorded SOM-58AAB9, GLO-9994DE, DOR-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.
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