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Signet Ring

A work made of gold.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of gold.


c. 1475–c. 1500


Probably Bruges

About this artwork

This large gold ring is engraved with an aristocratic heraldic emblem, a rampant (rearing) lion offset with a circle of beading. When pressed into sealing wax poured on documents or letters, the negative (intaglio) image of the lion produced a positive impression, meant to signify the office or identity of the author. Signet rings like this were used by civic officials or bourgeoning merchants as an expression of political allegiance. They were also worn by members of the aristocratic family whose emblem it represents. Without knowing the heraldic colors, it is difficult to accurately assign the emblem to a specific family. If the ring was indeed discovered in the canal in Bruges, it might signify the lion of the counts and region of Flanders.


On View, Gallery 238


Applied Arts of Europe


Signet Ring


Bruges (Object Probably made in)


Made 1475–1500




Diam.: 2 cm (3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Chester D. Tripp Estate Fund

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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