Medieval gold and cabochon sapphire ring, £11,000 at Canterbury Auction Galleries.

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That they are previously unseen and, via the Portable Antiquities Scheme, sold without any issues of provenance, only adds to their appeal.

Pictured here are two recent finds, one sold at auction in Kent in June, the other coming up for in Derbyshire in October.

The Canterbury Auction Galleries (27% buyer’s premium inc VAT) sale on June 3-5 included a gold and sapphire ring, c.1200-1300, found by a Kent detectorist in 2022. The golden hoop around the finger was engraved with the enigmatic letters ANVL AMAIL MAVL SMLVI and its roughly square ‘pie dish’ shaped bezel held a hand-polished cabochon sapphire. Two delicate clasped hands closed the ring around the finger.

Bidding went well over the estimate and reached £11,000.

Posy ring is just Ryght


Tudor posy ring c.1560 engraved I Meane Ryght, estimate £2000-3000 at Hansons.

The posy ring dates from the middle of the Tudor period, perhaps in the reign of Edward VI or Mary I.

The message in Roman capitals reading I Meane Ryght is previously unrecorded and at almost 15g the ring is unusually substantial. According to the report provided by the British Museum, it is the second largest of its type known.

The masculine owner may well have been a former Sheriff of Nottingham. In July 2020 it was found in a field in Rushcliffe, Nottinghamshire, near to another ring that bore the crest of the Jenison family who served as High Sheriffs of Nottingham.

That ring sold for £8500 at Hansons in March 2022. Its ‘partner’ is set to go under the hammer at the auction house on October 5-6 with a guide of £2000-3000.