Medieval gold fede betrothal ring. A yellow gold ring with a central stirrup shaped dome and raised post to top, the shoulders each with a rectangular plaque engraved with a quatrefoil motif and leading through to a solid D-shape shank and terminating at reverse with carved clasping hands. Tested yellow gold, approximately 4.6g in weight, circa 13th century.
The shape of this ring echoes the group of Medieval rings known as Bishop's stirrup rings, so called because of their overall shape. This ring however has the addition of the clasped hands or fede motif (Italian for 'faith') which symbolises the marriage union as the joining of hands in a handshake marks the consecration of the marriage ceremony. See 'Rings: Jewelry of Power, Love and Loyalty', Scarisbrick, D., 2007, p. 66, for a comparable Medieval ring with clasped hands to reverse.