Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
CC License:

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
CC License:

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Unique ID: LVPL2060

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

One of the most splendid medieval finds to come up through the process of the Treasure Act is undoubtedly a gold and diamond ring found in Manley, Cheshire in 2002. Another ring found with coins at Thame in Oxfordshire in 1940 is similar enough in its detail to suggest a date in the late fourteenth or early fifteenth century. The design of the Manley ring is complex with decorative elements which undoubtedly had greater significance for the original owner than is apparent to us today. It is inscribed on the top "sans fin" and on the bottom "loiauté" meaning 'unceasing loyalty'. At the back of the hoop is a central, openwork band with three letters 'E' juxtaposed with three stars. The inscription is sufficiently chivalric in sentiment to have been passed between men and the allure of this very high-status jewel has led to some tentative historic associations.

The repetition of three letters 'E' with three stars convinced the finder that the ring was associated with Edward III. He felt that the black diamond signified the Black Prince and that the ring passed between father and son. However there is no supporting evidence for a royal association either through heraldry (which is absent from the design), a known use of the motto 'sans fin loiauté' by Edward III or any documented allusion to Edward signifying his royal status by the use of stars. A more recent speculative line of argument associates the ring with Edward III and his Flemish supporter Jacob van Artevelde on the assumption that the two open work letters on the shoulders of the ring, 'V' and 'A', stand for 'van' and 'Artevelde', but there is no substantive reason why this should be the case. A more convincing use of initial letters is their well documented place in courtship.

The crowned heart placed beneath the diamond amplifies the notion that this might be a romantic love ring. A ring at the British Museum almost identical in construction with open-work shoulders containing individual letters spelling 'AMOURS' suggests that the Manley ring belongs to a wider repertoire of love jewellery produced by the same goldsmith.

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: National importance

Inscription: sans fin loiauté

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: Private collection, sold at Christies.
Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2002T140


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Date from: AD 1350
Date to: AD 1540

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Weight: 3.54 g
Diameter: 22 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Wednesday 1st May 2002

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Nick Herepath
Identified by: Mr James Robinson

Other reference numbers

Other reference: 2002 T140
Treasure case number: 2002T140

Materials and construction

Primary material: Gold
Secondary material: Gem

Spatial metadata

Region: North West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Cheshire West and Chester (Unitary Authority)
District: Cheshire West and Chester (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Manley (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SJ5072
Four figure Latitude: 53.242656
Four figure longitude: -2.750691
1:25K map: SJ5072
1:10K map: SJ57SW
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Current location: Private collection, sold at Christies.
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Character undetermined

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: LVPL
Created: 16 years ago
Updated: 7 years ago

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