[Sold via Kentshire.com, no longer viewable. Nothing further known.]
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.
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.
Magnificent and Rare Egyptian-Revival Faience and Jeweled Brooch, Cartier, London
Designed as an Egyptian fan, or flabellum, centering an ancient green glazed faience bust of the goddess Sekhmet, depicted with a solar disc and a uraeus (cobra) upon her head, set against a lapis lazuli sky twinkling with diamond stars bordered by a black enamel aureole and repeating diamond-set stylized lotus motif, all surmounting a stylized lotus blossom; set in platinum and 18 karat gold with a total of 11 single-cut and 89 old European-cut diamonds; the back of the brooch fitted with an 18 karat gold crook, a symbol of state power in Egypt when held by the pharaohs in conjunction with a flail, placed as the connecting support element for the faience relic, signed Cartier Londres, numbered S.L 7353; circa 1923. With original fitted box stamped Cartier.
French Industrial Exposition, Grand Central Palace, New York, New York, April 22-May 3, 1924.
The Illustrated London News, January 26, 1924, “The ‘Tutankhamen’ Influence in Modern Jewelry,” which includes this brooch and indicates the range of pieces incorporating ancient fragments produced by Cartier London in the year and a half since the opening of Tutankhamen’s tomb in November 1922.
Cartier: 1900-1939 by Judy Rudoe, pages 136-138.
The Impossible Collection: The 100 Most Important Jewels of the Twentieth Century by Vivienne Becker, plate 20.
Deriving her name from the ancient Egyptian word ‘sekhem,’ or ‘powerful one,’ Sekhmet was depicted as a lioness. A solar deity, said to be the daughter of the sun god Ra, she was the warrior goddess and the goddess of healing for Upper Egypt, the protector of the pharaohs, and it was believed that her breath created the desert.
This is one of two brooches depicting the top of an Egyptian fan that were made by Cartier London in 1923. The other was sold at Sotheby’s New York Magnificent Jewels auction on December 4, 2007, lot 273.
Egyptian-Revival Jeweled Fan Brooch, Cartier, London, 1923
Composed of an Egyptian glazed steatite plaque of semicircular shape, circa 600 B.C., inscribed with hieroglyphs, the border of papyrus and lotus motifs decorated with pear-shaped cabochon sapphires and square segments of onyx and enamel within a ground of pavé-set old European-cut and single-cut diamonds, the base centering a stylized lotus blossom similarly set with old European-cut, single-cut and rose-cut diamonds and accented with 2 kite-shaped cabochon sapphires and a band of black enamel, mounted in platinum and gold, signed Cartier, Londres, numbered 7300. With original signed case.
An archive photograph of this brooch appears in the exhibition catalogue Cartier: 1900-1939, Judy Rudoe, p. 138, fig. 66. The caption under the photograph states that the inscription relates to Mentuemhat, mayor of Thebes.
The reverse of the faience segment is applied with a gold plaque inscribed with the following: “Overseer of the Priests, Overseer of the Gate of the Foreign Countries, The Priest of Thebes, Mentu-Em-Hat, The Son of the Priest of Amun, The Prince of Thebes, Nesptah The Overseer of the Two Houses of the Soul, Priests of the Tomb of This Priest.”