WMID-D2FF42: Late Medieval to Early Post Medieval: Finger ring inscribed with 'Mens Immota Manet'

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
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Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
CC License:

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
CC License:

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
CC License:

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
CC License:

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
CC License:

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Unique ID: WMID-D2FF42

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Description: A complete cast gold finger ring, probably dating to the 15th or 16th Century.

The finger ring is sub circular in plan, and D shaped in section.The exterior of the band has been decorated with a repeating design consisting of a a four petalled flower within a diamond cartouche. A small incised cross is present at the centre of the flower design. Small crosses are present at the centre of the triangles separating each flower design.

The interior of the band has an incised latin inscription, in lower case black letter script, reading: mens immota manet (translated: the mind remains steadfast / unmoved). Incised eight pointed stars separate each word. The finger ring is a mid yellow colour. The inscription is not earlier than the 17th Century, so is probably a later addition to the ring.

Inscription: mens immota manet

Dimensions: The ring has an external diameter of 16.04 mm and an internal diameter of 13.59 mm. The hoop is 2.79 mm and 1.24 mm thick. It weighs 1.6 g.

Discussion: The small size of the finger ring may suggest that it was originally for a child, however during the Medieval and Post Medieval Periods, finger rings were worn on all parts of the fingers, so it could have been for the fifth finger of an adult.

The phrase 'Mens Immota manet' originally comes from Vergil's Aeneid but it was in use in the 16th Century as a proverb. It is also used as a motto for the Scottish Family, Meldrum, whose name appears on early census rolls but came more prominent during the 18th Centuries.

Conclusion: As it is older than 300 years, with a precious metal content of greater than 10%, it falls within the requirements of the Treasure Act 1996, and should be considered Potential Treasure

Find of note status

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

Inscription: mens immota manet

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery
Subsequent action after recording: Acquired by museum after being declared Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2013T204


Broad period: POST MEDIEVAL
Period from: POST MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1400
Date to: Circa AD 1600

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Width: 2.79 mm
Thickness: 1.24 mm
Weight: 1.6 g
Diameter: 16.04 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Tuesday 12th March 2013

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Miss Teresa Gilmore
Identified by: Miss Teresa Gilmore
Secondary identifier: Ms Judy Rudoe

Other reference numbers

Other reference: 2013T204
Treasure case number: 2013T204
Museum accession number: STKMG 2014.LH.36

Materials and construction

Primary material: Gold
Decoration style: Floral
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: West Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Staffordshire (County)
District: Lichfield (District)
To be known as: Tamworth

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Discovery circumstances: Found whilst metal detecting
Current location: The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: WMID
Created: 6 years ago
Updated: 2 years ago

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