I have really become interested in posie rings, a natural for an old English teacher, I guess. When I saw the first ones in 1994, they were very expensive, just looked like wedding rings, and I couldn't see the point. What can I say? One grows into it, and now I don't care that they just look like wedding rings, because the wonderful verse is a bonus for me, and they are a vanishing piece of history. Posy rings are so called because of the "poesy" or poetry inscribed. They were exchanged as gifts between friends, and lovers, and men wore them also. They have been popular from about the 13th Century, until the latter part of the 18th, when the Wedding Ring Act declared that wedding rings had to be fully hallmarked; thus leaving no room for touching inscriptions. I also read that they were becoming very important in the prosecution of breech of promise suits! They were then abandoned for bands with no inscription, but sometimes someone finds one in England with the use of a metal detector, and there is a wonderful exhibit of them in the British Museum. Sir John Evans donated about forty which I was pleased to be able to view, and actually hold and examine with a loupe (Thanks to Ann Louise Luthi) on this trip. He kept a little red leather book with all the phrases he collected, written down for posterity. Anyway, this time I bought four, to add to the one I kept for myself. This one, circa 1650, is particularly nice because it still retains some of the vestiges of the black enamel, and it has a wavy pattern. The band is 1/4 of an inch wide, and is a size 3 /2 to 4. The inscription reads "No Treasure to a True Friend." What a treasure this little ring is!
Item ID: 5748
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