DEV-F85BB4: Impression from bezel of finger ring

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
CC License:

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
CC License:

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Unique ID: DEV-F85BB4

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

A copper alloy finger ring of medieval to post medieval date (c. AD 1300 - 1700). The ring has an oval seal matrix bezel 13.36mm wide and 15.85mm long. The bezel has an incised design of the letter R with a wedged tail surmounted by a bifoliate crown and with branches or ears of wheat either side, all within incised oval border. The shoulders narrow from 10.37mm in width into the loop and taper to 3.11mm at the bottom of the loop. The finger ring has a diameter of 27.27mm (internal 22.35mm).

A finger ring bearing an identical design, but with a square bezel has been recorded in Wiltshre (WILT-F67EF2). Other similar examples include SF-951CA0, SOM-0169B4, SUSS-D1CD32 & LON-2B8E94.

It has been suggested that such rings were worn by representatives of a group or organisation rather than the intial relating to an individual whose name started with R. However, Harvey and McGuinness (1996, p.93) describe rings with these seal matrices, with a variety of initials, becoming increasingly popular and common from the fifteenth century onwards. It does not seem likely that the letter is the initial of a monarch, however, as has been suggested elsewhere, since at least one example is the letter V (SWYOR-5B2226) and another, the letter P ( a silver example from Surrey). It has been suggested that these rings with single initials were bought ready made and used for simple seals, e.g. on letters.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1300
Date to: Circa AD 1700

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 27.3 mm
Width: 13.36 mm
Thickness: 4.06 mm
Weight: 9.95 g
Diameter: 27.27 mm

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Miss Julie Shoemark
Identified by: Miss Julie Shoemark

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Devon (County)
District: South Hams (District)
To be known as: Kingsbridge

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: DEV
Created: 2 years ago
Updated: 2 years ago

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