The term 'posy' (or 'posie', 'poesy', 'posey'), is based on the French word 'poésy', to describe the motto or poem inscribed on the ring. A posy ring is a band of gold, with a short inscription on the outer or inner surface.
They were traditionally used as a lover's token, a wedding ring, in friendship, for loyalty or even as memorial rings.
Popular during the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries in England and France.
In early posy rings the inscription was written in Norman French, with French, Latin and English used in later centuries. The posies were originally written on the outside, moving to the hidden inside of the band in the mid 16th Century and onwards.
The British and V & A Museums in London and Ashmolean Museum in Oxford have the most extensive collections in the world.
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