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Gold sapphire ring with tears of the Virgin, England 15th century
Gold sapphire ring with tears of the Virgin, England 15th century - Antique Jewellery Style Gold sapphire ring with tears of the Virgin, England 15th century - Gold sapphire ring with tears of the Virgin, England 15th century - Antiquités - Gold sapphire ring with tears of the Virgin, England 15th century
Ref : 100742
11 250 €
Period :
11th to 15th century
Provenance :
England
Antique Jewellery  - Gold sapphire ring with tears of the Virgin, England 15th century 11th to 15th century - Gold sapphire ring with tears of the Virgin, England 15th century  - Gold sapphire ring with tears of the Virgin, England 15th century Antiquités - Gold sapphire ring with tears of the Virgin, England 15th century
Matthew Holder

European Works of Art & Sculpture


+44 (0) 7906300197
Gold sapphire ring with tears of the Virgin, England 15th century

A gold ring set with a cabochon sapphire, engraved and enamelled with the tears of the Virgin.

English, 15th century.

Ring size I 1/2 UK / 4.5 US.

Sapphires represented heaven and eternal life, as well as symbolising the Virgin and in the case of our ring, her tears. Sapphires were believed to be able to change colour if the wearer acted sinfully or lacked faith, it was because of this belief that jewels set with sapphires were worn as as symbols of honesty and devout faith.

There is a ring in the collection of the British Museum, London (Registration number; AF.897), which is engraved with the wounds of Christ. The wounds are similarly engraved as the eyes and tears of the Virgin on our ring, leading us to believe that our tears of the Virgin simultaneously represent the wounds of Christ, for it was his suffering that led to her tears.

The ring is described by the British Museum as: Finger-ring; gold; engraved. The thick broad broad hoop depicts Christ standing in tomb with the Cross and the Instruments of Passion behind him; the Five Wounds of Christ are engraved at intervals around the hoop, each between a hieroglyph of the wounds, the largest ('the well of everlasting life') next to Christ and the others in pairs one above the other, all in black letter, 'The well of pitty, the well of merci, the well of confort, the well of gracy, the well of everlastingh lyffe'; inscription in black-letter within hoop reads 'Wulnera quinq dei sunt medicina mei pia / crux et passio Cri sunt medicina michi jaspar / melchior baltasar ananyzapta tetragrammaton'. The inscriptions originally said to be enamelled black, the wounds and drops of blood originally said to be enamelled red.

Production place: England.

Production date: 15thC(late).

Registration number; AF.897.

Another Sapphire ring bearing similarities, also English and dating to the 15th century was sold at auction for £30,000 (including buyers premium) at Christie’s, London, Important Jewels, 27th November 2019, Lot 36.

Delevery information :

Worldwide shipping is included in all prices.

Matthew Holder

CATALOGUE

Ring