Ancient Jewellery

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Medieval silver-gilt ring brooch clasped hands design


Code: 11456

This is a nice medieval silver-gilt ring-brooch, dating to the 13th - 14th century AD. Ring-brooches are the most common type medieval brooch to survive and had a practical function: to fasten tunics, especially at the neck. Shaped as rings, with a long central pin, these brooches varied enormously in size and could be tiny, smaller than a fingernail. Ring-brooches were made of costly gold or silver, or of much cheaper copper or pewter. They were worn mostly until the late fourteenth century when changing fashions in dress included more closely tailored clothes and the growing use of button fastenings.

This example is decorated with a pair of clasped hands in prayer, of a well-known design recorded as SF-E053D4DENO-1AF752, and in gold LON-8B523A. There is an inscription on the frame which reads, "IA AI AC CA". It is also beautifully decorated with raised pellets and two small applied floral plates with a single central pin. The back of the brooch has a light mercurial gold gilt, partly worn through use and an old stress line on the back.. 

OBJECT: Ring-brooch

CULTURE: Medieval

DATE: c. 1250 - 1350 AD

MATERIAL: Silver/gold gilded

SIZE: 22mm x 15mm

WEIGHT: 1.20 grams

PROVENANCE: Ex North London Gentleman.