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Posy ring

England

17th/18th century

Gold posy ring, with circular hoop engraved: Let virtue still direct thy will; marked GM in an oval

16 mm internal ring diameter; 4.3 g weight

Presented by Dr Joan Evans, 1933; AN1933.1599

Taylor and Scarisbrick, Finger Rings from Ancient Egypt to the present day, 1978, no. 563

Posy ring: Posy rings form a large and important group in the history of English jewellery. Dating from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, they were generally designed as simple gold hoops engraved with a short poem or posy (from the French ‘poésy’) on the inside. Although a large portion of posy rings were given at weddings or betrothals, they were also presented as gifts on other occasions. They also served as ‘guard’ or ‘keeper’ rings worn above the more valuable gem-set ring.