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
Techniques — Engraving
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.
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.