Ancient Jewellery

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Medieval silver fede betrothal ring


Code: 12126

This is a nice Medieval silver betrothal/wedding ring, dating to the 15th - early 16th century AD. 

Medieval lovers gave each other rings, and rings were used to mark betrothals and weddings, but among surviving rings, it is impossible today to distinguish these different uses. Such rings are generally called 'fede' (faith) rings. Rings showing clasped hands first appeared in Roman times when they represented a legal contract. Since the clasping of hands was part of the medieval betrothal ceremony, it is not surprising to find rings that can be attributed to the 'wedding ring' genre. Either way, it would be impossible to distinguish this ring as a commemorative of love, betrothal or marriage. It is a fine example, in good excavated condition, although it appears the ridge of the thumb has been reduced in antiquity (presumably to make it more comfortable to wear?). A comparable example has been recorded from KENT-321A0F 

OBJECT: Wedding/Fede Ring

CULTURE: Medieval

DATE: c. 15th century AD


RING SIZE:   9 1/2    (US)      S 3/4 (UK)

SIZE: 21.3mm x 21.6mm x 3.3mm x 6.3mm 

WEIGHT: 2.18 grams

PROVENANCE: From a private collection, Vale of Glamorgan.