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 Silver Ring with Initial I
A fine Medieval ring cast from silver featuring a round hoop with a large circular bezel. The ring is further enriched with an incised letter I to the centre of the bezel with a star and crescent to one side and a leafy spray to the other side. Short dashes embellishes the background, the bezel is enclosed with a decorative rim.
Closest UK ring size O
Provenance: From the late Alison Barker collection, a retired London barrister; from her collection formed early 1960s-1990s.
Condition: Excellent condition, slight patination to the reverse.