A rebus marriage proposal
Quite an extraordinary ring, circa 1800, which knows no parallel. It is inscribed with a rebus – a puzzle in which a message is conveyed by a combination of images and letters. The high carat gold hoop is enamelled in powder blue between white enamel borders and inscribed with a rebus motto in gold capitals : DIE 24 arrow XX mo ANCHOR i.
The rebus translates thus : DIE 24 is Latin for ‘on the twenty-fourth day’. XX symbolises a pair, a couple. Mo is an abbreviation of the Latin matrimonium [marriage]. The anchor symbol plus i stands for ‘I hope’. So the whole puzzle means ‘I hope to marry you on the 24th.’ The arrow after the number 24 represents a marriage starting on the 24th and then going forward, spending the rest of their lives together. What a sublimely romantic gesture. How could she say no? The ring is size N [US 6 and 1/2] and the hoop is 1/4 of an inch wide. Thank you to the learned for decoding the rebus.