A token of the absent

A token of the absent

A buttery high carat gold posy hoop, circa 1700. The ring is inscribed to interior in italic script : A token of the absent [i.e. a token of affection from your beloved who is absent from your presence] with maker’s mark EB. Posy rings derive their name from the word ‘posy’ or ‘poesy’ – a derivative of poetry meaning short rhyme. The rings were popular from the late medieval period onwards and were primarily used to communicate secret messages of love between the donor and the recipient. The wearing of words against the skin was believed to increase their efficacy. This posy ring is size K and 1/2 [US 5 and 3/8]. There is the tiniest ding on one edge where it would have been hit by a plough or shovel during excavation, yet the ring is substantial and sturdy enough for everyday wear.

£950