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Signet Ring with a Rampant Lion

A work made of gold.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of gold.

Date:

c. 1475–c. 1500

Artist:

Netherlandish
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

European Decorative Art, Gallery 238

Title

Signet Ring with a Rampant Lion

Origin

Bruges

Date

Made 1475–1500

Medium

Gold

Dimensions

Circumference: 6.4 cm (2 1/2 in.); Diameter: 2 cm (3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Chester D. Tripp Estate Fund

Reference Number

2016.12

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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