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Middle Ages 'love ring' found in the Netherlands

A golden love ring from the Middle Ages was recently found in the Dutch province of Utrecht. This is the first time ever that a so-called 'black letter posy ring' is found in the Netherlands, Landscape Heritage Utrecht's archeology department announced. The location where this unique discovery was made was not disclosed, at the request of the anonymous finder.

Middle Ages 'love ring' found in the Netherlands
A black letter posy ring from between 1375 and 1550 found in Utrecht
[Credit: Landschap Erfgoed Utrecht]
The love ring dates from between 1375 and 1550, according to the organization. Sweet messages were engraved on such rings, like 'think of me' or 'I love only you'. These rings were mainly made in England for women.

The text on the ring found in Utrecht is something of a puzzle. The French words "Amours portent mon cuer à mon ami" are engraved on the inside of the ring. That translates to: "Love carries my heart to my love", according to the organization.

The text uses the male form of 'ami', and not the female 'a mon ami', which either shows that the ring was for a man, or the maker was not very proficient in French.

The image on the ring also raises questions. It could be a hunting dog, as a sign of loyalty, or a panthere d'amour - a love panther, according to the organization.

Author: Janene Pieters | Source: Nl Times [February 08, 2019]


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  1. Is it my imagination but is that two rings, the interior engraving appears sharp and pristine in a harder alloy and the exterior of a higher karat that shows the wear on the cruder decoration?

    1. The wear on the inside of a ring is always much less than the outside, presumably because - once on the finger - the inside surface doesn't get nearly as much abrasion

  2. I think the depicted animal is not a dog or panther but an ermine (hermelijn) crafted by someone who had seen the prepared furs but not the actual animal. The first have black spots but the animal has only the black tip to its tail. The animal was highly valued, hence its inclusion in the golden ring, but the craftsperson would be unfamiliar with the ermine, since the species does not turn white in southern England. The same error is made in Segar/Hilliard's portrait of Elizabeth the Virgin Queen

    Robbie McDonald


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