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This is a wonderful late 17th-century gold posy ring, inscribed with "let our contest be who loves best". The style of the lettering fits with other known examples from the 1660's - 1680's bearing traced makers marks. The ring is likely a provincial piece.
Posy rings were given by men and women as an expression of love, worn as a wedding ring or as a means of showing regard and friendship; the inscription on this example indicates this may be a wedding band, and due to the size (internal diameter and width) was probably worn by a gentleman.
This ring is in good excavated condition, with a few scuffs and dints from its time in the ground. The inscription is rather worn inside the band, so would have been worn for at least a lifetime of one happy couple. The ring is suitable to be worn again today.
OBJECT: Posy Ring
DATE: c. 1660 - 1700 A.D.
RING SIZE: 10 (US) T 1/2 (UK)
SIZE: 21mm x 2mm
WEIGHT: 1.56 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex-private collection, Essex.