Old Master Sculpture and Works of Art
09 July 2009 | 2:30 PM BST
English, late 14th/15th century
Estimate: 8,000 — 12,000 GBP
LOT SOLD. 70,850 GBP (Hammer Price with Buyer’s Premium)
engraved gold, set with a sapphire in hexagonal collet, inscribed: JOYE SANZ FYN (joy without end) on the interior
inside diameter: 1.8cm., 7/8 in.
Found near St. Oswald’s Church, Winwick, Cheshire
‘Ring is Real Treasure’, in The Warrington Guardian, 26 April 2008
Jewelry from 400 - 1499 AD.
A fifteenth century English ring
yellow gold, mounted with an uncut diamond crystal, of octahedral form cleaved in half in a square box-shaped bezel with chamfered edges, to a twisted cable form hoop with alternating twists of engraved cross hatching.
The diamond is of Indian origin. In the fifteenth century India was the sole source for diamonds and they were traded from the subcontinent to Venice, Antwerp and Amsterdam. The presence of a rough diamond crystal in a ring of this period is unusual. As diamonds had been cut in Europe since the early fourteenth century and by the fifteenth century point cut stones were used. The diamond in the ring has a peculiar crystal habit; it has grown irregularly, with ridges along the edges of the stone. It was probably left uncut because this unusual crystal form was prized.
English, circa 1460.
Discovered on 15th June 2008 by a metal detectorist in the area of Hambleton. Hambleton is a village nearby the Cistercian Abbey of Rievaulx in North Yorkshire. Treasure report no. 2008 T367. Disclaimed on 25th September 2009.
For another example of a fifteenth century ring mounted with a diamond crystal and one showing similar cabling hoop detail C.f. O.M. Dalton, Catalogue of Finger Rings in the British Museum (1912) nos. 720 & 928.
Culture: British or French
Medium: Gold, sapphires and garnets
Dimensions: Overall: 15/16 × 3/16 in. (2.4 × 0.4 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Tobias Meyer and Mark Fletcher, 2013
Found in Ringwood, Hampshire, England (in 1995); Sotheby’s, London(July 6, 2007, lot 3); Tobias Meyer and Mark Fletcher, New York (2007–2013)
Source link, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Late Medieval Sapphire Ring, 14k gold with rubbed over bezel and closed back. Circa 14th-15th century
Sale Title: IMPORTANT JEWELLERY
Location: London, King Street
Sale Date: Jun 15, 2006
Lot Number: 0398
Sale Number: 7240
Lot Title: AN EXTREMELY RARE MEDIAEVAL DIAMOND LOYALTY RING
Estimate: 30,000 – 50,000 British pounds
Price Realized: 84,000 British pounds – Sold After Sale
THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
AN EXTREMELY RARE MEDIAEVAL DIAMOND LOYALTY RING The point-cut diamond to the star and heart engraved mount, ‘V’ and ‘A’ engraved shoulders, and inscribed hoop, 14th century
Discovered on the farmland of Manley Hall in the village of Manley in Cheshire, 19 May 2002 and filed as Treasure Trove on 17 June 2002. Manley is on the edge of Delamere Forest, which was originally the royal hunting ground of King Edward III
Enamelled and engraved rings from the 14th century often fall within a tradition of mediaeval ‘love rings’ where lovers’ initials may both be engraved within the ring. However, there may also be a stronger political influence behind this ring. The use of a diamond within a ring is very unusual in the 14th century and marks this ring as an important and significant object, and possibly gift. Historically, a valuable ring may have been given as a token of love, or alternatively as a sign of allegiance. One ring, known as the ‘Verney Ring’, was given in the 17th century by Charles I to Sir Edmund Verney, one of his most loyal followers during the Civil War. It has been noted that the ring offered here, bearing three ‘E’ initials between stars, dates to the time of Edward III during the 100 Years War. The series of Anglo-French conflicts known as the Hundred Years War dominating Edward’s reign were chiefly caused by disputes over English holdings in France and troubles between the Flemish weaving cities (allies of the English) and their French overlords. One wealthy Flemish weaving merchant, Jacob van Artevelde, emerged as a political leader against the French, forming the League of Flemish Towns in 1336 who supported Edward’s claim to the title of King of France (through his mother’s line) in 1340. Edward III and Van Artevelde were doubtlessly close. Holding the contentious position of primary English supporter within the French-ruled Ghent, Van Artevelde was assassinated in 1345, leaving a son, Philip Van Artevelde, whose godmother, Philippa of Hainault, was the wife of Edward III. In turn, Jacob Van Artevelde was godfather to Edward III’s and Philippa’s son, John of Gaunt. Philip continued the Flemish fight in his allegiance to the English King and Queen. The motto reading across both sides of the hoop, ‘loyaute sans fin’, indicates an eternal dedication of loyalty, and together with the initials ‘V’ and ‘A’ either side of the bezel would be an appropriate dedication between the King of England and his closest Flemish supporter within the political climate of the mid fourteenth century. Cf. D. Scarisbrick, Historic Rings, Kodansha International, 2004, pp. 59-60, no. 146 Cf. G. Kunz, Rings for the Finger, Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1973, p. 190
One of the most splendid medieval finds to come up through the process of the Treasure Act is undoubtedly a gold and diamond ring found in Manley, Cheshire in 2002. Another ring found with coins at Thame in Oxfordshire in 1940 is similar enough in its detail to suggest a date in the late fourteenth or early fifteenth century. The design of the Manley ring is complex with decorative elements which undoubtedly had greater significance for the original owner than is apparent to us today. It is inscribed on the top “sans fin” and on the bottom “loiauté” meaning ‘unceasing loyalty’. At the back of the hoop is a central, openwork band with three letters ‘E’ juxtaposed with three stars. The inscription is sufficiently chivalric in sentiment to have been passed between men and the allure of this very high-status jewel has led to some tentative historic associations.
The repetition of three letters ‘E’ with three stars convinced the finder that the ring was associated with Edward III. He felt that the black diamond signified the Black Prince and that the ring passed between father and son. However there is no supporting evidence for a royal association either through heraldry (which is absent from the design), a known use of the motto ‘sans fin loiauté’ by Edward III or any documented allusion to Edward signifying his royal status by the use of stars. A more recent speculative line of argument associates the ring with Edward III and his Flemish supporter Jacob van Artevelde on the assumption that the two open work letters on the shoulders of the ring, ‘V’ and ‘A’, stand for ‘van’ and ‘Artevelde’, but there is no substantive reason why this should be the case. A more convincing use of initial letters is their well documented place in courtship.
The crowned heart placed beneath the diamond amplifies the notion that this might be a romantic love ring. A ring at the British Museum almost identical in construction with open-work shoulders containing individual letters spelling ‘AMOURS’ suggests that the Manley ring belongs to a wider repertoire of love jewellery produced by the same goldsmith.
Inscription: sans fin loiauté
Current location of find: Private collection, sold at Christies.
Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder
Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Date from: AD 1350
Date to: AD 1540
Weight: 3.54 g
Diameter: 22 mm
Date(s) of discovery: Wednesday 1st May 2002
Source links and info:
- Herepath,N (2002) LVPL2060 A MEDIEVAL FINGER RING — Finds.org.uk treasure database
- How a treasure hunter struck gold with a mysterious ring, by ROBERT HARDMAN, Daily Mail, 12 June 2006
- Important Jewellery, 15 June 2006 — Christie’s auction where ring was sold; lot no longer online.
Date: 7th century
Geography: Made in Northern France
Medium: Gold, garnet cabochon
Dimensions: Overall: 13/16 x 9/16 x 5/16 in. (2.1 x 1.5 x 0.8 cm) bezel: 1/4 x 5/16 x 3/8 in. (0.7 x 0.8 x 0.9 cm)
An important high carat gold medieval ring set with a natural irregular hexagonal cut sapphire, decorated with fine engravings and inscribed on the inside of the shank with the text ‘Loyal Desir’ which means legal or loyal desire which indicates the ring is a love token; for marriage or just a token of affection, early 15th century.
A Seljuk turquoise-set gold Bangle
Persia, 12th Century
The ridged, triangular section box-construction shank terminating in a double lion-head clasp and two set oval turquoises, the pyramidic bezel set with a glass rectangle and flanked by two set circular turquoises, a pin fitting at the base of the bezel, the shanks decorated with raised quatrefoils flanked by inscription-filled cartouches, all edges with granular decoration.
Inscriptions: repeat of al-‘izz al-da’im wa al-iqbal wa al-dawlat wa …., ‘Perpetual Glory and Prosperity and Wealth and …’
For a similar bangle in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, see M. Jenkins and M. Keene, Islamic Jewellery, New York, 1982, no. 25; for a pair of bangles, see Bonhams, Islamic and Indian Art, 24th April 2002, lot 325; and for a pair of bangles made for a child, see Christie’s, Islamic Art and Indian Miniatures, 28th April 1998, lot 363).
Place of origin:
France (probably, made)
England, Great Britain (possibly, made)
ca. 1400 (made)
Materials and Techniques:
86-1899 (V&A Museum, London)
This heart-shaped brooch with its romantic inscription was given as a token of love. It would have been used to fasten a tunic, gown or cloak. Gold was the most costly of metals, generally used only by royalty and the nobility. It is inscribed and would have formerly been enamelled on the reverse in French, in black letter script, ‘Ourselves and all things at your whim’ (‘Nostre et tout ditz a vostre desier’). The design on the front of the brooch, possibly stylised leaves and flowers or feathers, would also have been colourfully enamelled.
Ring brooches often fastened garments with a slit at the neck. Both men and women used them. They first pulled the fabric through the ring. They then pushed the pin horizontally through the fabric. When they pulled the fabric back through the ring, it held the pin in place.
A MEROVINGIAN GLASS AND GARNET GOLD FINGER RING
circa 5th-6th century a.d.
The hoop round in section, with collared shoulders joined to the diamond-shaped bezel, which is divided into quadrants and set with alternating squares of blue and green glass, the corners of the bezel terminating in roundels set with cabochon garnets
Gold and garnet ring, circa 5th-7th centuries. This type of ring could be produced by a barbaric jeweller (Goth?) or by a Byzantine workshop for barbaric customers. (auto-translation)
A 13th/14th century ring. The hexagonal slice of amethyst in a closed-back gold setting, ring size approximately P½
Found in North Yorkshire, treasure number 2010T674. The Crown’s interest in this ring has been disclaimed.
Gold ring, the oval bezel set with a sapphire, with chased foliated shoulders, West Europe, 14th century
Signet ring of the “Black Prince”
Second third of 14th century
Found at Montpensier, Puy-de-Dôme, in 1866
Gold, formerly gilded, ruby
Cabochon Ring found in Leeds, West Yorkshire — an unusually large, complete and spectacular gold ring with a lozenge-shaped bezel set with a garnet gem. Anglo-Saxon pieces of such high quality are extremely rare. It was made to be displayed as a sign of great wealth and status and is in near perfect condition.
The ribbed octagonal hoop terminating in a six-petalled calyx and oval plate containing a sapphire within an irregular setting. Greece, circa 1400
6th–7th century, Byzantine. Gold, sapphire, pearl. These elegant earrings are decorated with pearls, a favorite jewel of the Byzantines. Sapphires, then called hyakinthoi (hyacinths), became popular in Byzantine jewelry in the sixth century.
Anglo Saxon, 9th century
Slightly convex bossed disc brooch of sheet silver with inlaid gold and niello ornament. The zoomorphic decoration is deeply carved and pierced to give an open-work effect. Within the beaded rim, a zone of alternate disc and lozenge patterns contains the main decorative field, which consists of a central hollow-sided cruciform design with a boss at its centre and animal-head terminals, with a quatrefoil, the cusps of which terminate in identical animal heads: all the heads are (or were) set with blue glass eyes and are interconnected by a beaded circle. This in turn creates subsidiary fields each containing a puppy-like Trewhiddle-style beast. Four more bosses lie towards the perimeter, behind the animal-heads on the quatrefoils. Numerous gold panels are hammered into the decoration and considerable use is made of speckling and beaded framing. A suspension or keeper loop is attached to one edge of the brooch, at right angles to the direction of the pin catch, only stubs of which remain. The back is otherwise plain.
Pendant Anglo-Saxon, 7th century The British Museum
Circular sheet gold pendant with a beaded wire rim and corrugated suspension loop. Three cloisonné birds’ heads with cabochon garnet eyes, arranged in the form of a triskele, radiate from a central garnet ring, which encloses a circular setting, now empty. Surrounding the ring are two concentric bands of filigree, edged with twisted wire, containing heart-shaped motifs, S-shaped scrolls and single granules with beaded wire collars.
Viking Gold finger-ring of 3 twisted wires meeting in flattened section at back (10thC – 11thC)
Ring; Western European, gold set with a cabochon sapphire, circa 1300-1400