This is a wonderful and very rare medieval gold posy ring, inscribed outside the band with "Mon Cuer Aves", for "you have my heart". The style of lettering in blackletter script gives us a date of 1370 - 1500 A.D. Rings inscribed with a Gothic script or "black letter rings", such as this example, were associated with the culture of chivalry and courtly love prompting gifts or tokens as expressions of love. These rings are typically engraved with short inscriptions and floral designs around the exterior and filled with niello or enamel.
The ring belongs to a group generally recognized as love rings due to their sentimental inscriptions. In the medieval period, they were usually known as "Reasons", but from 1430 (A.D.) they came to be called "Posies" (posey, or poetry) rings (Oman 1974, 39). Black Letter inscriptions appear from the mid 14th century onwards, until the beginning of the 16th century when Roman capitals become the more fashionable script. The inscription 'mon cuer aues', despite the unusual spelling, is a common inscription on rings of this date; several examples are recorded in Evans (1931, 11), including a 'mon coeur avez' dated to 1450 A.D.
This is a very good example, with a nice inscription and floral sprays. The size would suggest this ring was once gifted by an amorous knight to his lady.
OBJECT: Posy Ring
DATE: c. 1370 - 1500
RING SIZE: 4 3/4 (US) J 1/4 (UK)
SIZE: 17mm x 3mm
WEIGHT: 1.63 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex J. Farrell Collection, Vermont. USA
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