Ring brooch

English, French or Netherlandish
Medieval (Gothic)
last quarter of 14th century


Overall: 0.4 x 1.8 cm (3/16 x 11/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Gold (ring: 83.2% gold, 10.2% silver, 6.6% copper; pin: 72.6% gold, 18.2% silver, 9.2% copper)

Not On View





Penannular square-sectioned ring and transverse pin. Solid cast, engraved and chased. The ring is inscribed on both faces in black-letter script against an irregularly hatched ground, the words being separated by debased four-petaled rosettes and, in one case, a leaf. On one side the French inscription reads JOIE AURAY (I shall have joy); on the other, some of the letters are open to alternative readings (CE ARA [?] EUT - this will have?) and their meaning is unclear. The tapering pin with a central slit in the head was held in place with a tiny iron rod riveted to the sides of the ring. Small rectangular niches for the point of the pin appear on both faces, and the pin can be rotated three hundred sixty degrees so that the brooch is reversible.


1963, Charles Ratton, Paris; 1963, sold by Ratton to the MFA for $1,000. (Accession Date: October 17, 1963)

Credit Line

Arthur Mason Knapp Fund