CAM-D38E7E: Post-Medieval gold posy finger-ring inscribed: MY Hart and I untell I die.

Rights Holder: Cambridgeshire County Council
CC License:

Rights Holder: Cambridgeshire County Council
CC License:

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Unique ID: CAM-D38E7E

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

A gold posy finger-ring inscribed on the inside of the band 'MY Hart and I untell I die'. The finger-ring is in good condition with a circular hoop of 18.5mm external diameter. The band has a thickness of 1.7mm and width of 3.7mm. The band is a continuous loop although the two ends appear to have been joined by solder at the location of the gap between the beginning and end of the inscription then smoothed in an attempt to hide the join. This can be seen, on close inspection of the band, on the inner (narrower line) and outer (wider line) surface as a paler metal line (see annotated image). The band has a D-shaped cross-section with straight inner edge and convex outer surface. The outer surface is undecorated and has a slightly angular mid circumferential ridge to the overall D-shaped convex profile.

Diameter: 18.5mm
Width: 3.7mm
Thickness: 1.7mm
Weight: 3.24g.

Discussion:The motto is rendered as 'my heart and I untill I die' on a ring in the British Museum (1961,1202.233) broadly dated to the 17th-18th centuries. Another version of the inscription is recorded by Dame Joan Evans on a ring in the South Kensington Museum (now V&A) as 'MY HART & I UNTILL I DY' (78). No date is given by Dame Evans but the inscription also appears with the same spelling but in lowercase, on a silver heart-shaped pendant in the collection of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge (Avery et al, 272), which is dated to the 17th Century.


The ring appears to consist of over 10% precious metal and on balance of probability to be over 300 years old at the time of finding and as such qualifies as potential treasure under the stipulations of the Treasure Act 1996.

Helen Fowler, Finds Liaison Officer for Cambridgeshire
Ian Richardson, Treasure Registrar

References: Evans, J. 1931. English Posies and Posy Rings. London: Oxford University Press.

Avery, V., Caleresu, M., Laven, M. 2015. Treasured Possessions: From the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. Cambridge: Philip Wilson Publishers.

Class: Posy
Inscription: MY Hart and I untell I die.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder after being disclaimed as Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2016T734


Broad period: POST MEDIEVAL
Period from: POST MEDIEVAL

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Width: 3.7 mm
Thickness: 1.7 mm
Weight: 3.24 g
Diameter: 18.5 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Saturday 13th August 2016 - Saturday 13th August 2016

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Helen Fowler
Identified by: Ms Helen Fowler
Secondary identifier: Mr Ian Richardson

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2016T734

Materials and construction

Primary material: Gold
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Bedford (Unitary Authority)
District: Bedford (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Bedford Unitary Authority Area

Spatial coordinates

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

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Character undetermined

References cited

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Audit data

Recording Institution: CAM
Created: 2 years ago
Updated: 8 months ago

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