Gorgeous medieval ring found in English pasture stars at Noonans, Nov. 29

 

The Lady Brook medieval gold and diamond ring, estimated at £30,000-£40,000. Image courtesy of Noonans

The Lady Brook medieval gold and diamond ring, estimated at £30,000-£40,000. Image courtesy of Noonans

LONDON – In its Tuesday, November 29 Jewellery and Watches auction, Noonans will feature a spectacular medieval diamond ring a metal detectorist discovered in 2019 in an English pasture. Now known as the Lady Brook medieval diamond ring, it carries an estimate of £30,000-£40,000. View the fully illustrated catalog on LiveAuctioneers.

When David Board took up metal detecting again in 2019 at the age of 69, he could not have envisaged what he was going to find. Having tried detecting on local beaches in the 1970s and not discovering much of interest, it was a family friend who motivated him to try his luck again. Now armed with the latest detector, an XP Deus, Board asked permission to search near Thorncombe in Dorset from a local farmer for whom Board had formerly been a milk tanker driver for many years.

The ring, believed to date to the 14th century, bears a French inscription that translates to “I hold your faith, hold mine.” Image courtesy of Noonans

The ring, believed to date to the 14th century, bears a French inscription that translates to “I hold your faith, hold mine.” Image courtesy of Noonans

On his second outing on a pasture field, nearing the end of the day, and having found just a few old copper half pennies, Board got a signal near a footpath. At a depth of five inches he saw what he thought was a candy wrapper. After looking more closely he realized it was a ring and put it in his top pocket.

English metal detectorist David Board admires his find. Image courtesy of Noonans

English metal detectorist David Board admires his find. Image courtesy of Noonans

Finds Liaison Officer Lucy Shipley took the ring to the British Museum and confirmed that it was medieval in date and a very rare example. Board is hoping to use his share of the money to help his partner’s daughter arrange a mortgage.

The medieval-era gold and diamond ring was found in an English pasture near Dorset in 2019. Image courtesy of Noonans


The medieval-era gold and diamond ring was found in an English pasture near Dorset in 2019. Image courtesy of Noonans

Noonans Coins and Antiquities Consultant Nigel Mills explains: “This ring is in almost perfect condition and has an inverted diamond set into the raised bezel so that it comes to a point. The hoop is composed of two neatly entwined bands symbolizing the union of the couple. Inside the band is an inscription in French, “ieo vos tien foi tenes le moy,” which translates as “I hold your faith, hold mine.”

The medieval ring might have been a wedding ring given by Sir Thomas Brook to his wife Lady Joan Brook in 1388. The couple was depicted in monumental brasses on view at St. Mary the Virgin in Thorncombe, England. Image courtesy of Noonans

The medieval ring might have been a wedding ring given by Sir Thomas Brook to his wife Lady Joan Brook in 1388. The couple was depicted in monumental brasses on view at St. Mary the Virgin in Thorncombe, England. Image courtesy of Noonans

The location of the find in Dorset was acquired by Henry de Broc (or de la Brook) from Reginald de Mohun (1206–1258), Feudal baron of Dunster in Somerset, who had inherited this land from his first wife Hawise Fleming, daughter and heiress of William Fleming. It then passed by descent through the Brook family, coming into the possession of the wealthy landowner Sir Thomas Brook (circa 1355-1418). Due to the exceptionally fine quality of this ring, it might have been the wedding ring given by Sir Thomas Brook to his wife Lady Joan Brook for their marriage in 1388.

 

The current rate of exchange is £1 = $1.19.

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