This is a late Renaissance latten bronze signet ring, dating to the 16th - 17th century A.D. The ring is complete with a pipe-tamper stem, making it a multipurpose tool. A similar ring has been recorded from Ewell in Surrey SUR-243678. The pipe tamper has a narrow head, indicative of an early date (since tobacco was expensive in the Tudor period, so the pipe bowls were small and narrow). The initials I.H. are cut in Roman capitals, again (as with posy rings) were in use during the late Tudor period. This is a very good example, all original with a nice patina. The hoop of the ring does has a minor crack (this is small and doesn't go through the band). This ring was recovered from a behind a wall cavity in a 16th-century tavern (or so I was told). An excellent early piece for a collector.
OBJECT: Signet Ring / pipe-tamper
DATE: c. 1550 - 1650 A.D.
MATERIAL: Latten Bronze (bell-metal)
RING SIZE: 7 1/2 (US) P (UK)
SIZE: 41mm x 21mm x 3mm (bezel 15mm x 12mm) pipe-tamper head 8mm diameter
WEIGHT: 8.07 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. European Private Collection
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