Medieval Iconographic Rings

February 2, 2022

This essay examines an important but long-overlooked type of medieval object, known as “iconographic rings,” and considers their contribution to devotional practices in late-medieval England. Building on Herbert Kessler’s observations concerning the significance of portable objects in medieval art, it contextualizes iconographic rings within a broader circuit of religious imagery, underscoring their uniqueness as wearable prayers, more personal and intimate than other devotional objects like Books of Hours, the imagery from which they draw closely.