English Posies and Posy Rings

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Posy rings are an important and avidly collected form of antique jewellery. They derive their name from the word 'poesy' meaning short rhyme, as the rings were engraved with rhyming messages of one or two lines. The inscriptions are often in elaborate scripts, containing motifs and decorated with enamel. They were popular from the late medieval period onwards and were used to communicate sentiments of friendship, loyalty and most frequently love. Samuel Pepys mentions them in his diary and Shakespeare referred to them in his plays, most notably in Hamlet. The British and Victoria Albert Museums have extensive collections of posy rings. THis is a rare publication that will interest jewellery collectors, metal detectorists, archeologists, historians and all those with an interest in goldwork and antiques.