Posy Ring, "In thy sight is my delight"
A fun, rhyming inscription that declares love for the wearer and written in delicate cursive script.
Posy rings, the name deriving from poesy (“poetry”), are rings with inscriptions that express affection. In the 13th and 14th centuries the language of the posy was usually French, but from the 15th century English became increasingly common. Rings were given on many occasions and they often seem to have been declarations of love, rather than formal betrothal or marriage rings. Later examples are generally inscribed on the interior, so that the verse remains private to the wearer and giver.
Fine hoop with round exterior and flat interior. The motto “In thy Sight is my delight” is engraved in italics on the inside of the hoop. The maker’s mark “JD” appears in a blunted corner rectangular punch. The ring is in excellent condition with only the I of “In” smoothed with wear.
The sentiment expressed here was rather common (see Evans 1931, p. 61). See British Museum AF.1301 and 1302 for similar rings. The use of black letter in maker’s marks seems to have been most popular in the mid-eighteenth century, however, the goldsmith here, JD, does not appear in Jackson’s history of goldsmiths (1905). The maker’s identity may be revealed as more hallmark collections are published in print and online.