SOM-58AAB9: Post-Medieval gold signet ring

Rights Holder: Somerset County Council
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Unique ID: SOM-58AAB9

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Treasure case 2017 T730; disclaimed, returned to finder.

Description: A Post-Medieval gold signet ring. At the apex of the hoop is a large, slightly projecting flat oval bezel. A circumferential beaded border set within a groove decorates the lateral edges of the bezel. The bezel itself is deeply engraved with the retrograde initials R B, with these being connected by a corded interlace which forms three loops above, and with each terminating in a tassel below. This is set within a deeply engraved oval border. Each shoulder is decorated with a foliate design left proud against an engraved field, the design consists of a longitudinal stem flanked by leaves and terminating in a trifoliate leaf at either end. The upper leaf is flanked by two further, these being slender and curving around to fill the space left as the hoop widens into the bezel. The ring is otherwise plain and features no maker's or hall marks. The hoop is sub-oval in cross section.

Dimensions: The bezel is 18.4mm long, 18.5mm wide and 3.4mm thick, the hoop is 8.4mm wide below the bezel and tapers to 2.9mm wide at the base of the hoop, where it is 2.1mm thick. It measures 26.6mm across the hoop and weighs 11.71g.

Discussion: Oman (1974: 31) notes how signet rings depicting a pair of initials connected by a knot became a popular device in the 16th century, and publishes a number of very similar examples (plate 44B, E, 45A) dating to the 16th and early 17th century. The finger ring can also be compared to a number of examples reported through the treasure process and recorded on the PAS database, in particular 2014T520 (Hayward Trevarthen 2014), given a similar 17th century date range, and 2015T973 (Adams 2015), dated to the mid-16th to early 17th century.

The finger ring appears to consist of over 10% precious metal and 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.

Wil Partridge
Finds Liaison Officer for Devon and Somerset
August 2017

Subsequent actions

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

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2017T730


Broad period: POST MEDIEVAL
Period from: POST MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1500
Date to: Circa AD 1650

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Width: 18.5 mm
Thickness: 3.4 mm
Weight: 11.71 g
Diameter: 26.6 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Tuesday 8th August 2017 - Tuesday 8th August 2017

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Wil Partridge
Identified by: Mr Wil Partridge

Other reference numbers

Other reference: SCC receipt: 017401
Treasure case number: 2017T730

Materials and construction

Primary material: Gold
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Somerset (County)
District: South Somerset (District)
To be known as: West Crewkerne CP

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SOM
Created: About one year ago
Updated: About one year ago

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