Medieval Ring with Garnet
A classically beautiful ring set with a garnet en cabochon that embodies the “pie-dish’ style popular in Medieval Europe. This ring is disclaimed treasure.
Slender gold hoop with beveled edges on the exterior, widens towards the shoulders which support the conical underside of the oval bezel. This has a “pie-dish” form with serrated edging and holds a concave collet setting for a gemstone (missing at time of find). The cabochon garnet has been sympathetically replaced since the ring was discovered. The ring shows signs of age and wear and is in good wearable condition.
The ring was found by a metal detectorist in Ivychurch, Folkstone and Hythe, Kent, and is recorded on the Portable Antiquities Scheme database (Ref: KENT-9F4EA9).
In the Middle Ages throughout Western Europe rings with gemstones were most popular and these were en cabochon, in their natural form, but polished. Each stone had a special meaning for the wearer—love, magic, protection and so forth. The stones came either from Europe, like the garnet here, or were imported from faraway countries in the Far East. Because of the shape of the bezel, this type ring is described as a “pie-dish” ring. Variations of the type date from about the thirteenth to the fourteenth century.
For variants of the “pie-dish” type ring, which was fashionable in Western Europe, cf. rings in the British Museum (Dalton 1912, no. 1772, 1773); Nationalmuseum Copenhagen (Lindahl, 2003, no. 106), the Hanns-Ulrich Haedeke Collection (Haedeke 2000, nos. 136); Alice and Louis Koch Collection in the Swiss National Museum, Zurich (Chadour 1994, vol. I, no. 566); Hashimoto Collection of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo (Scarisbrick 2004, nos. 112, 113).