The name, posy, for rings like the present one derives from the French word for poem-poésie. The rings were popular gifts in seventeenth-century England and they were inscribed on the interior of the bands, so that only the wearer (and giver) would know what was written. Their often-rhymed mottos express sentiments of love, friendship, fidelity, and faith. Some, like the present, even include an identifiable marker's mark.


Substantial hoop for a small ring. Rounded exterior and flat interior tapering at the base. The interior is engraved with the words "In my choice I do rejoyce" followed by the maker's mark GA in two separate circles.  The ring is in excellent condition.



The maker's mark here is not recorded in any of the standard reference materials for this period, but the British Museum holds a ring with an identical GA mark and includes a similar script (1961,1202.157). The mark is also noted on a ring in the Ashmolean, AN1933.1581

(see Taylor and Scarisbrick, Finger Rings from Ancient Egypt to the present day, 1978, no. 543)

The motto is recorded in Evans (1931, p. 59) and appears amongst the posy collections at the British Museum (1961,1202.41). For general information on posy rings see: Scarisbrick (1994 and 2007), Taylor et al (1978), and Oman (1974).

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