Samuel Pepys mentions them in his diary and Shakespeare refers to them in Hamlet and The Merchant of Venice. In both England and France, posy rings - a ring with a short inscription expressing regard, friendship and most frequently love - were the most popular form of ring from the late medieval period to the 18th century.
Taking their name from the old French word ‘poesy’ or 'posie' meaning short rhyme or poem, they reached their peak of popularity in the 16th and 17th centuries when they were typically inscribed inside the band. The wearing of words against the skin was believed to increase their poignancy.
Countless inscriptions have been recorded conveying messages such as ‘True love will not remove, When this you se remember me or You and I will Lovers dye'. The ‘posy’ to the ring that is to be auctioned at our November 21 Jewellery, Watches and Silver sale is unusual - possibly unrecorded. Further details will be released in our auction catalogue. The ring was dug up by the vendor in the garden of their local property. It is believed the land was formerly an orchard once owned by the Countess of Warwick. The estimate for this souvenir of a now forgotten romance is £300-500.
Jewellery, Watches and Silver - Tuesday 21 November, 10am
For more information, please contact:
Catriona Smith | firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Design sale on 4-5 May includes a group of Arts & Crafts items from the estate of the design writer and biographer Fiona MacCarthy OBE (1940-2020). Married to the Sheffield-based silversmith and designer David Mellor (1930-2009), who she first met when conducting an interview in 1967, MacCarthy’s background as a journalist for House and Garden and the Guardian helped to lay the foundations for seminal works on C R Ashbee, the Omega Workshops, William Morris, Eric Gill, and Stanley Spencer.
Sworders Design department is delighted to be offering a selection of some of the Gabbertas Studio’s most iconic designs, some of which are extremely rare versions of designs or prototypes made by the hand of Mark Gabbertas himself | DESIGN WEDNESDAY 5 MAY 2021
Following Covid's cancellation of the Festival in 2020, the charming Georgian market town of Holt in Norfolk is delighted to be resuming its role as host of East Anglia’s celebration of creativity, Holt Festival, this summer, and Sworders couldn't be prouder to be sponsoring not one, but two art prizes this year.