Ring from when Shakespeare was writing plays found in Derbyshire charity shop
An unassuming poesy ring found in a charity shop has turned out to be a rare gold ring dating from the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.
To put it in context the ring was made around the time of defeat of the Spanish Armada, a time when William Shakespeare entered a period of ‘maturity’, the age of Walter Raleigh and seventy years before The Great Fire of London.
Discovered by the vendor in a charity shop, this remarkable find has been XRF tested as a high carat gold and the late 16th century poesy ring is to be offered in the Hansons Winter Fine Art Jewellery Showcase Auction on 1st December with a guide of £800/1,200.
Although enquires have been made in to what charity and where it was in the county the auctioneers have not responded.
Auctioneer and jewellery valuer Izzie Balmer said: “We are delighted and honoured to have our very own poesy ring. Although fairly ordinary looking at first glance, it has been a joy to research an object with such sentiment and history”.
The outside is decorated with a swirling motif. Its simple clean lines mirror the unassuming hidden inscription: “No cheinge in Vertues Choyse”.
Poesy rings were popular in England and France during the 15th to 17th centuries, most commonly as lovers’ gifts, as a token of regard but also as a gift between friends or as a pledge or loyalty. The word “poesy” translates as “short rhyme” and these rings would have inscriptions. Referenced by Shakespeare and Samuel Pepys in their works poesy rings have a mythical magical beauty which continues to wield its power today. Jewellery valuations are held at Hanson’s Etwall Salerooms on Tuesdays from 10am to 4pm and at valuation offices throughout middle England. Please phone 01283 733988 for further details or visit www.hansonsauctioneers.co.uk