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.
- Signet Ring with a Rampant Lion
- Made 1475–1500
- Circumference: 6.4 cm (2 1/2 in.); Diameter: 2 cm (3/4 in.)
- Chester D. Tripp Estate Fund