GREAT PLAGUE OF LONDON RING 15th-17th CENTURY
Bronze. Early Renaissance, probably English. Revolutionary in its construction with the band of rolled brass/bronze, with a pattern imparted by the roller. The bronze flower bud top cast separately and the two joined by brazing. Thus, the ring was sized when made, a huge jump in industrialization at the time! The process of rolling, including sheet for armor was in place in the 15th century. In 50 years of collecting and retailing, we have acquired about two dozen of these, the largest a size 5 1/2 but typically about 2 1/2, toddler size. Comparison shows that none of the bands were made by the same die and bezels are unique as well. Child mortality was indigenous to the culture and expected. Barely half lived to adulthood. Burial in the church yard brought you close to God, but space was limited and those nearer our hearts had priority over those whose names were forgotten. Graves were periodically dug up, and the bones removed to storage, making space for newcomers. It happened all over Europe, north to south and no jewelry is preserved with the bones. It is our conclusion after decades of filtering through sparse information, that these rings were produced in England and recovered from graves of children who perished in the Great Plague of 1655-56 in London. Child’s size 3. Five rope twist band. Nodular flower form bezel. Minor wear with matte brown patina.