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This is an excavated bronze posy ring, dating to the late 17th - 18th century. the band is inscribed in italic script "loue vntil death" (Love untill death). The style of lettering gives us a date of late Stuart to the Georgian era. Originally this piece would have been fully gold gilded. Oman (1974, pg 41) suggests that italic inscriptions generally replaced those of Roman capitals in the second quarter of the 17th century until posy rings became unfashionable in the 19th century. There is a makers mark on the inside of the band, as yet unattributed.
The practice of giving rings engraved with mottoes at betrothals or weddings was common in England from the sixteenth century and continued until the late eighteenth century. Posy rings could, however, be given on many other occasions as a token of friendship or loyalty. Posy rings could also contain religious and memorial inscriptions. The inscription is generally found on the interior of the ring, hidden to everyone except the wearer and most of the sentimental mottoes were taken from the popular literature of the time.
OBJECT: POSY RING
DATE: c. 1650 - 1750
RING SIZE: 8 1/2 (US) Q 3/4 (UK)
SIZE: 22mm x 4mm
WEIGHT: 3 grams
PROVENANCE: Discovered near Eastbourne, Kent.