the gold hoop, two nude figures bearing in their hands torches, the
design continuing completely around the hoop; about the figures are
doves and flowers. This beautiful specimen of goldsmiths' work belongs
to the first half of the sixteenth century. The pose of the small
figures has been wonderfully adapted to the curve of the ring.10
a special class has been given the name " iconographic rings," this
designates those bearing, either on the bezel or the sides, images of
the Virgin and Child or of the saints. These rings, which date from a
period running from 1390 to about 1520, are peculiar to England and
Scotland. The material is either gold or silver, those of the latter
metal showing much ruder workmanship than was devoted to the gold
must have been regarded in its time as an exceptionally ornate ring is
listed in an inventory of 1416. It is described as a gold ring having a
helmet and a shield made of a sapphire, the shield bearing the arms of
"Monseigneur." As supports of the shield were an emerald bear and a
swan made of a white chalcedony.12
ornate though tasteless type of Italian rings were those called "
giardinetti," showing flower baskets, jardinières, or nosegays, the
flowers being figured by precious stones and pearls, with stems and
leaves of gold. As the aim was purely decorative, the stones and pearls
C. W. King, " Notices of Glyptic Archaeology exhibited by the
Archseological Institute in June, 1861," London (Report from
Archaeological Journal), p. 12.
Catalogue of the Special Exhibition of Works of Art at the South
Kensington Museum, June, 1862," section 32, " Rings," by Edmund
Waterton, p. 622.
12 De Laborde, " Notice des émaux du Musée du Louvre," 2d Part, " Documents et Glossaire," p. 131, s. v. Anel.