A Pretty Post-Medieval Silver-Gilt Clasped Hands Fede Ring


Origin: English
Period: Late Seventeenth / Early Eighteenth Century
Provenance: Private Collection, Nottinghamshire, UK; acquired late 1980`s.
Date: c.1670-1720
Size: P 1/2 UK USA 8, Europe 17.0, Japan 18 (Approximately)
Weight: 3.97 grams

The cast silver-gilt fede ring comprising a D-section hoop with running nebuly detail to the outer face; the bezel showing a pair of clasped hands with leaf-spray above. The leaf spray in this fede ring signifies the love between the giver and recipient as a growing one.

Presented in very fine condition, having slight loss to the bezel, with some gilding remaining.

The name "fede" comes from the Italian phrase mani in fede or, "hands [joined] in faith" or "hands joined in loyalty". These rings date from Roman times, when the gesture of clasped hands was a symbol of pledging vows, and they were used as love and marriage rings in medieval and Renaissance Europe. Such rings were popular in ancient Rome as betrothal rings and again throughout Europe from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries, as we see here.

A bewitching and romantic example of post-medieval English jewellery and imminently wearable for many centuries to come.