SIGNET RING WITH DOUBLE-HEADED EAGLE
Western Europe (Germany or Austria ?), c. 1700
Gold, remnants of black sealing wax
7.4 gr.; circumference 54.51 mm.; US size 7, UK size O
During the Renaissance and Baroque period, trade within Europe and across the globe increased dramatically, resulting in the great wealth of merchants, guilds and landowners. Seals and signet rings worn as a sign of rank and authority were no longer reserved for nobility. Signet rings were used as a form of authentication of documents, property, or merchandise during trade. The gold ring with wide hoop is rounded on the exterior and interior, and increases in width towards the ends. The octagonal bezel forms a seal with engraved motif of a double-headed (bicapitate) eagle displayed and surrounded by a beaded border. On the underside of the bezel is the unidentified maker’s mark “M” in a shield-shaped punch. The ring is in good wearable condition.