Medieval Silver Ring with Heraldic Seal


A fine Medieval ring cast from silver featuring a round thick hoop with a large circular bezel. The bezel is further enriched with an incised heraldic crest and two stylised snakes above, the scene is enclosed with a decorative rim. This type of ring was usually worn by those from an aristocratic family.

Date: Circa 14th – 16th century AD
Provenance: From the late Alison Barker collection, a retired London barrister; from her collection formed early 1960s-1990s.
Condition: Fine condition


SKU: LD-323 Category: Tags: ,

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. Heraldic symbols referred to as coats of arms, were often presented on shield and would bear a crest and sometimes a shield. The specific heraldic symbol given to a male was wore by all his male descendants.

Weight 4.84 g
Dimensions W 1.7 cm



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