15th century Black Letter posy ring
A fine quality high carat gold posy hoop, circa 1450. It is inscribed in Black Letter script : tut en bone foi (all in good faith), between engraved lozenge motifs. Posy rings, the name deriving from poesy (poetry), were rings with inscriptions that expressed affection, friendship and love. Rhyming or cryptic inscriptions were fashionable from around 1200-1500. Some were written in Latin but more commonly in French, the language of courtly love. Both languages were familiar to the elite in medieval Europe. The motto, ‘all in good faith’, symbolises the pledging of one’s troth, a most romantic gesture. The ring is size L [US 5 and 1/2]. It has survived in remarkably fine, sturdy and wearable condition. For similar black letter posy rings of a similar date see the British Museum Portable Antiquities Scheme.