ESS-A69E73: Post medieval gold intaglio finger ring

Rights Holder: Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service
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Unique ID: ESS-A69E73

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Gold finger ring set with an engraved intaglio in an oval bezel. The shoulders and back of the bezel are decorated with curling floral patterns. The border around the intaglio and the majority of the ring band are plain. The intaglio itself is made of an orange material, probably glass or carnelian. It is decorated with an engraved portrait of a bearded male bust facing left and wearing a pointed crown, probably portraying a Roman Emperor. The band is sub-circular in cross-section.

Dimensions: Diameter 26.5mm, band diameter c.2.2mm, bezel 18.3x21.7mm, weight 11.9g


Although it appears Roman, this ring is actually from the late 16th – early 17th century when devices such as the one used here are common on seals (Henig, 2019 pers. comm.). A similar example can be found in The London Archaeologist vol. 5 no. 7 (1985) “An intaglio ring from the City Ditch, London” by M. Henig.

For further examples of radiate head on gems of the 16th and 17th centuries see M.Maaskant-Kleibrink, description of the collections in the Rijksmuseum G.M.Kam at Nijmegen. X The Engraved Gems (Nijmegen 1986) p.xii and 88 nos 175 and 176.

Conclusion: Since the artefact is over 300 years old and has more than 10% precious metal content, it fulfils the requirements of the Treasure Act. Subject to coroner’s inquest

Report by: Imogen Hubner

Checked by Sophie Flynn, Essex FLO

This item was disclaimed on 12/03/2020 and was collected by the finder.

Subsequent actions

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

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2018T1046


Broad period: POST MEDIEVAL
Period from: POST MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1550
Date to: Circa AD 1650

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2018T1046

Materials and construction

Primary material: Gold
Secondary material: Gem
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Essex (County)
District: Braintree (District)
Parish or ward: Greenstead Green and Halstead Rural (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: TL8032
Four figure Latitude: 51.95734796
Four figure longitude: 0.61821849
1:25K map: TL8032
1:10K map: TL83SW
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: ESS
Created: 3 years ago
Updated: About one year ago

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