Signet rings occur in various ancient civilisations, as they were used to “sign”, deriving from the French word signet meaning small seal and signetum, documents through the impression on hot wax of the symbol on the ring. During the Medieval period, seal rings were widely used in trading to ensure the authenticity and security of a document or letter. The social status of the owner was reflected in the size and media of such seal rings, with the combination of motives engraved on the bezel providing further insight into the owner’s identity, such as their place in a family. People favoured their rings to be engraved with initials, such as this one, family crests or badges.
Medieval Bronze Signet Ring with Initial L
A fine Medieval signet ring cast from bronze featuring a round twisted hoop with a circular bezel. The bezel is further enriched with a crude incised letter L in reverse so when used in wax, the letter will be facing the correct way. A single band along the rim enclosed the letter.
Closest UK ring size: Q ½
Provenance: From the late Alison Barker collection, a retired London barrister; from her collection formed early 1960s-1990s.
Condition: Fine condition