The present ring is a particularly fine example of an English 15th-century posy ring and is distinguished by the presence of a large, deep blue, sapphire, seldom seen in rings of this type. Posy rings acquired their name in the late 16th-century, the word probably being derived from the word 'poésie' or 'poetry'. They comprise a certain category of rings which bear inscriptions often associated with love and courtship. The tradition of knights giving posy rings as love tokens to their ladies is believed to originate in the 13th century and many examples like the present type, with elegant Gothic script, date the the 15th century. Compare with the example published in C. Oman, British Rings 800-1914
, London, 1974, no. 57c. Note also the following posy rings processed by the United Kingdom Portable Antiquities Scheme: 2013 T589 (NMS-2F0775); 2012 T849 (YORYM-4F2206); 2012 T675 (LIN-026715); and 2014 T211 (CORN-5482E1).
Tantalisingly, the present ring was discovered near Sinnington Hall near Pickering in North Yorkshire, which was owned by the posperous Latimer family from the early 14th century, eventually descending to John Neville, 3rd Baron Latimer, the first husband of Katherine Parr, who eventually became the sixth and final wife of King Henry VIII.