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, family crests or badges.
Medieval Silver Ring with Geometric Motifs
A fine Medieval ring cast from silver featuring a round hoop, slightly misshaped over the years, with a large circular bezel. The bezel is enriched with geometric motifs including triangular and oval shapes along with line work around and inside the shapes. The design is enclosed with a decorative rim.
Provenance: From the late Alison Barker collection, a retired London barrister; from her collection formed early 1960s-1990s.
Condition: Fine condition