Dating to c.1400-1450, I am thrilled to present this magnificent late medieval English fede ring for the consideration of my Ruby Lane clientele!
Wrought from 22k gold, this outstanding, investment-quality late medieval jewel represents nothing short of one of the Holy Grails of serious jewelry collectors and historians! The term "fede" comes from the Latin, "Mani i Fede," which translates to "hands clasped in faith." This symbol has been used since antiquity as a sign of love, trust, and fidelity, and was a symbol incorporated in many ancient Roman wedding rings. This trend never went out of fashion, and the fede ring became a preferred style of betrothal ring right into the 16th-century, when they were further developed as "gimmel" rings with separating sections, usually with a heart hidden by the clasped hands.
This example dates firmly to the first half of the 15th century, and is in 100% intact condition, with one of the MOST luscious burial patinas this collector, dealer and scholar of early jewelry has seen in 25+ years! As it to be expected, some of the details (such as the cuffs) display a bit of acceptable wear, but the clasped hands are still crisp! This ring was excavated in Sussex in the 1980s, and formed part of an important UK-based collection of medieval jewelry. This ring is free of damage or repairs after over 650+ years, and I consider myself very fortunate to discover such an early jewel in such exquisitely-preserved condition! It is even still perfectly "in the round!" JUST OUTSTANDING!
The bezel of the ring measures 9mm at the widest point, and tapers back to 2.4 mm at the rear of the shank. Given that it is a size 7 3/4, it was very likely worn by a gentleman of wealth and high social status as wedding ring, but today, this important jewel is suitable for wear by a 21st-century lady or gentleman. Of course, a ring of this age must be treated with utmost care, and should be saved for extra-special occasions! As with most medieval-era rings, this example is unmarked, but tests to 22k gold. Due to it's historic importance, this ring should NOT be sized. (For a similar example in the collections of the Victoria & Albert museum, please see the last photo of a fede ring dating to the 15th century.)
Weighing in at 3.01 grams, this phenomenal love jewel will make a thrilling and investment-worthy addition to any collection of historic sentimental jewelry. It would also make the ULTIMATE gift for any lady or gentleman fascinated with medieval England and it's rules of betrothal or marriage, and will be shipped in a quality gift box. As with all of my jewelry pre-dating 1700, this ring will be sold with a COA and valuation for your insurance purposes at no extra charge. Do not miss this proverbial needle in a haystack; I do not know when I will find another, up to 120 day layaway is available, and USPS registered mail shipping is FREE!
Your Specialists in Fine Jewelry and Decorative Arts from Antiquity - 1900. Est. 1987.
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