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Love ring

19th century

Gold ring, the bezel with male and female hands clasped, with blue and white enamel cuffs (a plain mans cuff and frilly ladies cuff, the hand wearing a bracelet and ring)

14.48 mm internal ring diameter; 3.9 g weight

On loan from Evelyn Lee and Margaret Woodcock; LI1045.18

This ring is styled after the sixteenth century fede ring (from the Italian mani in fede, 'hands in faith'). The motif of the clasped hands derives from Roman times when the gesture of clasped right hands (dextrarum iunctio) symbolized marriage. The motif reappeared in the twelfth century, becoming particularly popular throughout Renaissance Europe.