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Massive Silver Merchant Ring


Merchant rings have a fascinating history dating back to about the 14th century. They were distinctive seals and marks that were identified with guilds or specific professions. These insignias were then cast, chased or engraved into a ring. Usually worn by those not entitled to wear a coat of arms, these seals were most often associated with businesses and trades. Many trades wielded great power not unlike many of our modern day trade unions.

Most often worn as rings, the bearer was then immediately recognized, as well as having the dual purpose of "signing" important letters and documents. Hot wax was dripped onto parchment and the insignia was then impressed into the molten substance. Rings of this type flourished during the 16th century and some were still in use in the 17th century.

At the top the imagery symbolizes the “Agnus Dei” or lamb of God, and on each side the initials "C” and “M" appear. Beneath is a crest of the head of a horned bull or steer flanked by scrolls. On the shoulders are fluted columns and a type of head or gargoyle with reeded banding underneath. Certainly this must relate to the livestock or butcher's trade.

Naive workmanship with a wonderful character and feel, it is of solid cast construction.

+ Measurements, Condition & More

Measurements: 11/16 of an inch (1.7 cm) in width by 13/16 of an inch (2 cm) in height and rises 1/4 of an inch (0.7 cm) off the finger.

Ring Size: US 8-1/4 (UK Q; Euro 18.5; 58 mm)and can be sized to fit most. Ring sizing information.

Condition: Good; a bit of wear to the top with some surface scratches (now worn smooth) and overall wear inside and out; some softening of the imagery on sides; evidence of old sizing. Weight of 25 grams.

Date: 18th or early 19th century version of an earlier ring.

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  2. Personal checks drawn on U.S. banks only - Please allow 7 business days for clearance.
  3. Money orders, cashier's and traveler's checks - Please allow 7 business days for clearance.
  4. PayPal.

Other Forms of Payment
Bank Wire - For international orders and orders of $5,000 and over. Please contact us for more details.

Layaway information and for full details see Payment Methods.


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If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, notify us within (3) days of receipt for a full refund. Return shipping is free!


Just write "extended return" in the comments box of your order to qualify! Notify us by December 29th, ship back by January 2nd, 2015.

Standard Return Procedure

  1. Notify us of your intention to return the item within three (3) days of receipt. You may contact us by email or by telephone.
  2. Please ship back to us within another two (2) days after we receive notification from you.
  3. As soon as the item is received, a full refund is issued to you that same day.

More details at Full Guarantee including gift giving and holiday options.

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