POSY RING "IN LOVE ABIDE TILL DEATH DEUIDE"
England, 17th century
Weight 5.2 gr; circumference 60 mm; US size 9¼; UK size S
Taking their name from short poems that were literary exercises in Elizabethan England and much cited by Shakespeare, posies were commonplace sentiments often inscribed in rings.Manuscript repertories of posies exist from the late sixteenth century on and the posy ring gradually went out of fashion only at the end of the eighteenth century. Unlike black letters rings, posy rings included the inscription “always next to the finger, not to be seen of him that holdeth thee by the hand.” The plain hoop, flat on the interior and rounded on the exterior, is engraved on the inside with the inscription “In love abide till death deuide” in italics, followed by an unidentified maker’s mark.