Lot 1684: Medieval Gold 'Love and Enjoy' Iconographic Ring with Sapphire
December 8, 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: 15th century AD. A substantial D-section gold hoop with incised images to the shoulders of a hooded figure with a cross raising his right hand in blessing, and standing Madonna and child; the bezel rectangular with scooped panels, inset blue sapphire cabochon; blackletter text to the inner face 'amer et revir'; Malcolm Jones, Sheffield University, Dept. English Language & Linguistics, Senior Lecturer 1994-2009, and advisor to the British Museum and Portable Antiquities Scheme, says: the Anglo-French inscription reads aimer et ievir (or possibly ieoir ), but whatever the precise reading of the last word, it is a spelling of the verb joir (which has numerous variant sps!) meaning ?enjoy? ? though they are infinitives, I?d be inclined to translate them as imperatives, i.e. Love and Enjoy! ? a lot more potentially exciting than ?revere?... If you look at the final letter ?r , you?ll see for yourself that the first letter of that word is clearly not an r, but an i. See Bonewitz, Dr. Ronald Louis, Gems, 2013, p.59-63; Oman, C.C. Victoria and Albert Museum Catalogue of Rings, reprinted Ipswich, 1993, item 269 for type. 13 grams, 24mm overall, 18.56mm internal diameter (approximate size British Q 1/2, USA 8 1/4, Europe 18.12, Japan 17) (1"). Property of a Sussex gentleman; acquired before 1990. Accompanied by a positive X-Ray Fluorescence metal analysis certificate. The stone was examined in detail by Dr. Bonewitz who notes that the stone is of a fine blue, and highly transparent.
Condition Report: Extremely fine condition. A large wearable size.