Antiques PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Antiques PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Poetry in “Hoops of Gold” Distinguishes Les Enluminures Collection of Gothic, Medieval and Renaissance Posy Rings at The Winter Antiques Show Jan 20 – 29

Les Enluminures gallery of Paris and Chicago ( will host a special exhibition of about 18 original Medieval and Renaissance Posy Rings dating from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries at the Winter Antiques Show (Stand 6) in New York January 20 -29.

Sandra Hindman, a Medieval art historian and owner of LES ENLUMINURES, says
“Posy Rings take their name from short poems (from “poesie” or “poetry”) that were literary exercises in Elizabethan England. Much cited by Shakespeare, posies were commonplace sentiments – love, friendship, faith, etc. – often inscribed in rings.”

“Hamlet queries Ophelia: ‘Is this a prologue, or the posy of a ring?’ Posies engraved on the rings tend to be short, and they often rhyme. During a visit to a goldsmith, the client would select a posy to be engraved on the inside of the band, which was often plain – so that only the wearer would know what it said.”

Hindman fell in love with Medieval and Renaissance rings early in her academic career when she first saw a Parisian dealer’s collection. “I didn’t know they even existed as Medieval jewelry was not taught when I was at university. But I had always enjoyed rings because they evoked memories of her Mother’s jewelry collection, so I immediately was drawn to them. Only later did I discover how hard it was to find important ones!!! “

Hindman has written at length (including “Towards an Art History of Medieval Rings” published by Paul Holberton, London) about the relationship between owner and ring and the intimacy of rings, noting that the wearer can enjoy both the look of the ring on the finger as well as the private knowledge of the message it contains just for the owner’s eyes.

She says, “Posy rings afford another measure of intimacy between the giver and wearer. They communicate on so many levels. In fact, manuscript repertories of posies exist from the late sixteenth century. Posy rings were popular in Tudor and Elizabethan England, but gradually went out of fashion by the end of the eighteenth century. Now they are enjoying a revival as more and more young collectors learn about them, and understand their rarity and the romance of their appeal.”

While she hesitates to single out her favorites, Hindman says the messages in the rings she is bringing to The Winter Antiques Show should resonate with those looking for appropriate Valentine’s Day gifts. The collection for sale includes one Posy ring with the verse, “Thinke Well of Me,” another that says, “I lyke my chois WF,” a third inscribed with the words, “Let virtue rule affection,” and another that reveals, “My heart is free for God and thee.”

Other Posy rings at the Les Enluminures stand at The Winter Antiques Show have expressions such as “I have obtained whome God ordaind,” “In god on high lets love true and dy,” “In God alone wee two are one,” and “The God of peace our love increase.”

Hindman adds that while “There is very little research that integrates rings into the broader picture of the history of art, Posy rings offer an appealing way to begin a collection. For millennia rings have been considered symbols of power, wealth and love. It’s nice to see these simple verses from the heart.”
Sizes vary between US 3 and US 9 ½. Each Posy ring is unique and comes with a certificate of authenticity. Prices start at $4,500.

Les Enluminures maintains a special web site at

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