Gold rings were the most popular piece of jewellery to be worn in Medieval times by both men and women. Interestingly, rings were placed on all fingers and at different joints on the hands. Gold and silver rings embellished with gems and precious stones were worn by royalty and nobility. This beautiful ring was probably used as a love token, or a betrothal ring. Rubies were associated with love and the prevention of indignation, likely important qualities in a relationship in medieval times. Additionally, the imaginary of quatrefoil was used in Medieval Europe in heraldry and as a decorative motif for jewellery. Rings bearing a quatrefoil were worn as good luck charm. However, the quatrefoil became a popular motif in Christian symbology and iconography, always associated with the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Medieval Gold Ring with Ruby
An exquisite Medieval high karat gold Niello quatrefoil ring. The shank merges with the lobe shaped shoulders chased with panels of extremely fine foliage and floral decoration, which hold traces of black enamel. A high quatrefoil bezel set with a table cut ruby completes this strikingly beautiful ring, each leaf of the quatrefoil is finely detailed with incised lines filled with white enamel. The reverse of the bezel also features chased decoration, traces of black enamel remain on the surface. A wonderful jewel, suitable for modern wear with care. Weight: 4.5 grams. UK ring size: P.
Provenance: Formerly in an Essex collection, 1980-2000s.
Condition: Very fine, some enamel missing from the etched designs.